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Essay on The Epic of Gilgamesh Poem

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In the epic poem titled The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh was a king who ruled over the Sumerian city of Uruk around 2600 B.C. Gilgamesh was a very powerful and strong king, but he realized that he must use his power to help the people of Uruk. He is two-thirds god and one third human, which makes him realize that he must reconcile with the fact that he will eventually face death. He realizes that he will not reach full immortality and needs to be satisfied with his responsibilities over his people. Gilgamesh is able to reach a balance between being a king, god and man by accepting his mortality and his duties over his people of Uruk.
As a king, Gilgamesh went through a change. Gilgamesh built the city of Uruk with outstanding inner and outer walls. He also built temples for the god of the heavens and for the goddess of war and love. He also made sure he made beautiful fields and ponds throughout Uruk. Gilgamesh starts out as a mean and very powerful king. “The young men of Uruk he harries without warrant, Gilgamesh lets no son go free to his father. By day and by night his tyranny grows harsher, Gilgamesh, [the guide of the teeming people!]” ( Epic of Gilgamesh 3). Gilgamesh uses his power as king to sacrifice his own warriors when he wants to fight, without even hesitating to change his mind. He is criticized by his own people because they want a king who will treat and protect them like a shepherd. They want a king who they can count on to keep them safe from harm. However, Gilgamesh becomes a changed king when he meets Enkidu. “They kissed each other and formed a friendship” (17). Gilgamesh’s friendship with Enkidu has made him calmer and more ambitious to accomplish things for his city that he hasn’t done ...


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...h also makes him mean and harmful. But he is able to overcome it when he is able reach balance. The death of Enkidu and his journey allows him to realize that he will not be able to reach full immortality because he is one third human. Even though Gilgamesh is able to escape death many times because he is not fully mortal, he knows that he will still face death eventually. Although Gilgamesh will eventually experience death, he realizes that he must be satisfied with not being fully immortal. Since Gilgamesh understands that he will not be able to avoid death, he realizes that he must start thinking about the responsibilities he has towards his people and that he must become and think like a better king.



Works Cited

George, A. R. The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.


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