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The Epic of Gilgamesh Critical Essays

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Gilgamesh Essay
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The main character, Gilgamesh embodies many of these characteristics of humankind coupled with his immense strength and position of power derived from his godly background. He Journeys through life attempting to find way to avoid death and become immortal.

Through out the large ajority of the text, Gilgamesh regards death with disdain and fear, unwilling to accept that mortality, in the literal sense, is inevitable; thus, leading to his eventual realization that there are nonconventional ways by which can achieve immortality. He sets little store in human life, and in what can be achieved whilst living; essentially, rejecting any importance in mortality as a whole.

This is further exemplified in his reaction to the death of Enkidu. Enkidu, having been assigned the fate of an untimely death by the gods, as punishment for killing Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven, leaves Gilgamesh in a broken mental state. Gilgamesh becomes further driven by restlessness and apprehension as he realizes the inevitability of his mortality.

He cannot seem to bear the idea of himself falling into the same lifeless fate as Enkidu Gilgamesh, It becomes clear that Gilgamesh takes a very literal stance in terms of what it means to be immortal. To him, being immortal is to live forever, avoiding death. He has yet to give thought to the fact that immortality may be achieved in a less literal sense.

His desire for a tangible solution to avoid the eventuality of death seems to become consuming. He is no longer really living, and is essentially becoming obsessed with death, which is opposite of becoming immortal. She advises him on the importance of living life ully and Joyfully; underscoring, the good in the concept of mortality Gilgamesh, This point in the text is a turning point as far as what the idea of immortality is characterized as.

Utnapishtam relates the story of a great flood to Gilgamesh. Utnapishtam is granted immortality by Enlil for his achievement of preserving umankind. His literal immortality can be seen as a tool by which his legacy is further stablished and its importance further highlighted. Driven by his anxiety, Gilgamesh sets out to find Utnapishtim, from whom Gilgamesh hopes to gain eternal life. Near the conclusion of his journey, Gilgamesh meets a tavern keeper by the name of Siduri.

Siduri tells Gilgamesh to seek the joys in mortal life, and assists him in his quest when she finds Gilgamesh will not be dissuaded. Gilgamesh eventually fails in his quest for true immortality. Before the arrival of Enkidu, Gilgamesh would mercilessly ravage the women of Uruk, be it.

It took lust, in the form of the harlot Shamhat, to humanize Enkidu and prepare him for his confrontation with Gilgamesh.

Although the sexual encounter brought knowledge,. Enkidu was separated from nature by the experience, bringing clear costs and benefits to lustful encounters. Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu enjoyed purely sexual encounters only in a passing fashion. Gilgamesh hardly described his encounters with women, and Enkidu, despite the assistance Shamhat provided, quickly forgot her as the story progressed.

Neither of the two heroes got any sort of long lasting emotions from their sexual encounters. Lust was shown to be a means to an end, an important part of human society, but not a source of true fulfillment. They grappled with each other at the entry to the marital chamber, in the street they attacked each other, the public square of the land. After the confrontation, Gilgamesh had no desire to continue his forceful encounters with the women of Uruk.

He was no longer interested in such brief, uninspiring endeavors. Throughout the Epic , the partnership between Gilgamesh and Enkidu gave Gilgamesh strength and fortitude beyond the vast amount he had previously possessed.

With Enkidu by his side Gilgamesh did not fear death. He even joked about it, saying to Enkidu. I will go in front of you, and your mouth can call out: He set out a solo quest simply to contain his fears about his own inevitable demise.

The other portion came from losing the man Gilgamesh loved most in the world. All the bravery that Enkidu had given him disappeared, leaving Gilgamesh cowering in fear of an end he had joked about not long ago. Although some lust was always contained within love, the story focused on the power of love by portraying minor lusts in a loving relationship.

Gilgamesh and Enkidu were quite affectionate, constantly. Although signs of affection vary in meaning and importance, the wording was contrary to the style used when Shamhat.

Mentions of affection between the two men were lighter and generally brief. There was no force in the descriptions, and no particular outcome from them. Rather than being a means to an end, these affectionate moments were nothing but small signs of the love between the two men. In a premonitory dream, Gilgamesh finds a meteorite that symbolizes Enkidu, and he. Love between a man and wife contained lustful, and at times dysphemic implications, but these implications were certainly different from those present in the forceful acts Gilgamesh was committing.

The power of love was most evident for Gilgamesh, whose dramatic change in lifestyle was a direct result of the addition of love, and the removal of pure lust. It also acts as one of the moralistic qualities of the Epic. Love was often directly contrasted with lust, in order to magnify the benefits of a loving relationship.

Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu had brief sexual relations prior to their encounter. As the story progressed, the sexual encounters fell meaningless when compared to the achievements of their friendship. Love was shown to actively strengthen Gilgamesh, giving him the ability to brave even the fear of death. It motivated Gilgamesh to accomplish great deeds, to move beyond the confines of his kingdom and the repetitive lifestyle he was living.

When Enkidu was killed by the anger of the gods Gilgamesh was truly heartbroken.

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- The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Summary The Epic of Gilgamesh is a moving tale of the friendship between Gilgamesh, the demigod king of Uruk, and the wild man Enkidu. Accepting ones own mortality is the overarching theme of the epic as Gilgamesh and Enkidu find their highest purpose in the pursuit of eternal life.

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Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. You can view samples of our professional work here. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do. Free Essay: Gilgamesh Death in ancient Mesopotamia was something to be dreaded. Nowhere is there mentioned an afterlife condition comparable to our ideas of.

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The Epic of Gilgamesh study guide contains literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, quotes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The Epic Gilgamesh chronicles the journey of a king. Gilgamesh is a king that flaunts his power and enviably shows his week side in most altercations. Gilgamesh.