The Comparison of the Story Cain and Abel and the Legend Romulus and Remus

The concept of sibling rivalry and competition appears to be as ancient as scriptures. Cain murdered Abel in a jealous state similarly to how Romulus killed his brother Remus. The primary definition of the term‘archetype’means the original model or scheme in accordance to which all similar things are copies or representations. It belongs to the cultural experience, which is present in the individual’s unconsciousness. The Cain-Abel story is an archetype version of two brothers, frequently twins, who are opposite. The archetype appears in numerous versions which demonstrate brothers in conflict, which frequently ends with one brother murders other. Thus, Cain killed Abel out of jealousy for God’s attention, while Romulus eventually murdered Remus because of jealousy for property ownership. Both stories have the archetype of siblings’ rivalry revealing how an envious brother kills another.

Both stories are also the archetypal representations of the battle between the earthly and the heavenly cities. This is portrayed by the two pairs of brothers: Cain and Abel from Sacred and Romulus and Remus from Roman mythology. While Abel and Remus represent good, Cain and Romulus – both fratricides and founders of cities – evil. The story of Cain and Abel is not reduced to the mythical element. The authenticity of this text is higher when one compares it with other myths. Though, there is a close correspondence in Roman mythology that focuses on two brothers – the founders of the city and the first rulers of the Roman Empire. However, Romulus kills his brother Remus and becomes the only founder of the city and the first ruler of the Roman Empire. Cain resembles Romulus greatly. He also founds a city and becomes one of the forefathers of human civilization (The Hebrew Bible, Genesis 4:17-22). However, the radical difference between these texts is found in their divergent perspectives. While the Roman myth takes the side of Romulus and depicts the killing of Remus as a justified act, the biblical text supports the side of the innocent victim. Both Abel and Remus are weak. If Romulus was capable of successfully defending himself, Remus “was take prisoner and brought before Amulius” (Livius et al. 175). Abel never contested with Cain for any earth goods as God’s favor was more important for him, and it cannot end. Cain and Romulus represent the earthly nature rooted in murder while Abel is devoted to the divine state that seeks to preserve the memory of all victims. Therefore, both stories vividly demonstrate that conflicts and rivalry are embedded in the human nature.

Another focus of the stories is jealousy and rivalry between brothers. Cain, the founder of the first city on Earth, was jealous of Abel’s sympathy for the Lord. The story shows that both brothers brought offerings, Cain “brought an offering of the fruit of the ground, while Abel brought the firstlings of his flock” (Genesis 3.21-4.14). In fact, the Lord appreciated more Abel’s offering than Cain’s (Genesis 3.21-4.14). This made Cain angry and jealous of Abel. Brother’s appropriate sacrifice beguiled Cain into the sin. This course of events is present in the archetypical story about the city of Rome.Two brothers disagreed and quarreled regarding the hill on which to construct their future city. Though, the story of Romulus and Remus demonstrates that Remus has been the “first to receive an omen: six vultures appeared to him” (Livius et al. 177). Nevertheless, both brothers were welcomed and congratulated as kings. Unfortunately, angry arguments and quarrels together with vehement and aggressive passions resulted in the bloodshed that led to Remus’s death. The story conveys that Remus superciliously wanted to take the control over the recently built city. Thus, he was immediately murdered by the furious and savage Romulus, who claimed: “so shall it be henceforth with every one who leaps over my walls” (Livius et al. 177). This allowed Romulus to become a ruler. Moreover, the city was called after him as he is regarded as a founder.

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Despite the fact that these two founding stories are similar, they actually reveal the opposite conflicts. It is obvious that the root of Romulus-Remus issue lies in the fact that both brothers are the citizens of the city of man where self-glory is the main goal. They dream about the glory and wanted to find their own city. Though, a common foundation cannot lead to a glory. The story shows that only a single founder might remain. The story of Cain and Abel is slightly different as Cain found the first city of man, but Abel was an inhabitant of the God’s Eternal City. Therefore, Abel’s glory means God’s love. However, it is possible to make a parallel between Cain-Abel and Romulus-Remus. The quarrel between Romulus and Remus demonstrates how the city might be divided by its citizens. The argument between Cain and Abel illustrates the hatred which exists between the city of God and the city created by a man. Cain-Romulus and Abel-Remus become the archetypes of the battle between good and evil. Both stories help to make a highly provocative suggestion regarding the fact that fratricide appeared at the foundation of social order.

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Romulus and Remus, Cain and Abel create the doubles in mythology and literature. Obviously, it is the murder of a brother as an enemy that provides the reappearance of difference. It creates a new system which serves to discourage rivalry and collective violence. Moreover, it allows the founding of a cultural order – Rome or the Cainite community. Therefore, it is not the existence of discrepancies but the uncertainty which surrounds the collapse and leads to inevitable violence and conflict. One of the most prominent peculiarities about the myth of Cain and Abel could be about the paradox that brothers can hate each other more passionately than strangers can. Violence and misunderstanding are at the very foundation of culture, religion, and society, where a fatal predisposition for savagery might be eliminated only by the interference of victim’s sacrifice. Cain’s envy of Abel points at another demonstration of his characteristic feature – the shortage of a sacrificial expression.

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