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Fear of Death Essay

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Death it is something we all must face at one point in our lives or another. It is either a death of a loved one, friend or co-worker. Sometimes it’s the devastation from a natural disaster. No matter what makes us face the idea of death it is how we handle this realization that truly matters. When Gilgamesh is faced with the horrendous loss of his dear friend and comrade Enkidu he begins to fear death. In Gilgamesh’s youth he is proud without fear of death, it is not until he watches his friend die that his own mortality becomes a fear.
The story begins showing Gilgamesh as a strong warrior as shown when he first meets Enkidu who wants to stop Gilgamesh from having relations with a woman on her wedding night. “They grappled each other, holding fast like wrestlers, They shattered the doorpost, the wall shook…They grappled each other at the door to the wedding, They fought in the street, the public square…It was Gilgamesh who knelt for the pin, his foot on the ground” (23). This shows that Gilgamesh is strong and is not afraid to fight. Here the reader is unable to see if he fears death but he faces a challenge head on. This shows a lack of fear of the unknown in regards to a fight. He is sure of himself and knows that he will win regardless of his opponent. As we read further we are told about Gilgamesh wanting to go into to the forest to kill the monster Humbaba. As he and Enkidu are preparing for the fight Enkidu speaks of his concerns in which Gilgamesh responds with “Here you are, even you, afraid of death…If I fall on the way, I’ll establish my name: ‘Gilgamesh, who joined battle with fierce Humbaba’”(26) this gives the idea that Gilgamesh is accepting to death at this point. He is not afraid of death because...


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...athe in water, look proudly on the little one holding your hand, Let your mate be always blissful in your loins, This, then, is the work of mankind” (65).
Although Gilgamesh may still be afraid of death it is notable to see how the idea of death changes from ones youth to adulthood. We can also see that how one experiences death can determine what they will feel about death. We see that during his youth Gilgamesh was carefree, not afraid to face challenges that could result in death. In fact he enjoyed them and ridiculed those who showed an ounce of fear while facing a battle. As he witnesses his close friend die he begins to fear his own death. He is afraid of wasting away and dieing in bed. At the end he comes to the realization that no matter what he did he cannot escape death and maybe it is time to live instead of worry about death that awaits him.



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