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“The Tale of Sinuhe” in Ancient Egyptian Literature

The number of monarchies in the modern world has undoubtedly been greatly reduced compared to two or three centuries ago and the Middle Ages. Society has gone through many stages of development and the forms of government used have changed. In The Tale of Sinuhe, the author talks about the life path of a character who chose the monarchy as a whole, and not allegiance to an individual monarch.

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The Tale of Sinuhe begins with the death of Amenemhat I, king of ancient Egypt. Further, the story describes the life path of a character named Sinuhe, who becomes aware that a murder is being planned in order to prevent the ascension to the throne of Senusret I. Sinuhe returns with Senusret from a military campaign in Libya, but, fearing for his life due to palace intrigues, abandons Senusret I and flees from Egypt. In Retenu, he marries the daughter of the leader of the southern country. Later, Sinuhe becomes the successor of the leader and returns to Egypt at the invitation of Senusret with the denouement of intrigue, Senusret forgives Sinuhe and takes him to his service (Parkinson 42). Therefore, the character changes his location and inclination throughout The Tale of Sinuhe.

Sinuhe has had many adventures during The Tale of Sinuhe, but also a huge number of troubles and hardships, which tell the reader about his life. Throughout the story, he progresses in succession from early childhood to maturity and decline (Parkinson 23). Being a very skillful royal doctor, Sinuhe was close to the representatives of the monarchy. He had a chance to visit distant countries, was in various situations of choice, but most often he chose the monarchy as a whole, and not a specific representative.

The monarchy, along with the republic, is one of the two forms of government known to the theory of state and law. In a monarchical form of government, the head of state is the sole ruler – the monarch. The power of the monarch, as a rule, is for life and is transmitted in the order of succession to the throne. The central figure for the monarchical form of government is the monarch as the sole head of state, exercising power in his or her own right, and not in the order of delegation. The power of the monarch is for life and is inherited. Sinuhe lives under the reign of several monarchs.

Moreover, the development of his life coincides with the reign of Akhenaten. The Akhenaten is a reformer who changed many aspects in the everyday life of Egypt. For an Egyptian reader who lived at the time the tale was published, such a representation could be strange and incomprehensible from the point of view of a betrayal of a traditional monarch. At the same time, the position conveyed in the Tale could find a response in the vision of the life of some residents of that time. Therefore, the tale presents somewhat new and innovative views on following the monarchy, but is applicable to its time and the existing structure of the government.

In conclusion, in The Tale of Sinuhe, the protagonist goes through many changes and difficulties in his own life. He travels a lot, lives with the ruling families, and goes through various trials. At the same time, the fact that Sinuhe lived under several rulers means that he follows the principle of the monarchy as a whole, but does not accept the policy of a single irreplaceable monarch.

Work Cited

Parkinson, Richard Bruce. “The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940-1640 Bc.”, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 1-53.

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StudyCorgi. (2023, January 3). “The Tale of Sinuhe” in Ancient Egyptian Literature. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-tale-of-sinuhe-in-ancient-egyptian-literature/

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StudyCorgi. "“The Tale of Sinuhe” in Ancient Egyptian Literature." January 3, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/the-tale-of-sinuhe-in-ancient-egyptian-literature/.

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StudyCorgi. 2023. "“The Tale of Sinuhe” in Ancient Egyptian Literature." January 3, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/the-tale-of-sinuhe-in-ancient-egyptian-literature/.

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StudyCorgi. (2023) '“The Tale of Sinuhe” in Ancient Egyptian Literature'. 3 January.

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