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Knowledge in Gilgamesh and Genesis Essay

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Ancient world literature and early civilization stories turn around human’s relationship with higher beings. Ancient civilizations were extremely religious, holding the belief that their very lives were in the hands of their almighty god or goddess. This holds true for both the people of biblical times as well as those of the epic era. However, their stories have some differences according to cultural variation but the main structure, idea and theme are generally found correlative. It is hard to believe that that one work did not affect the others. The first great heroic epic poem of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament are two cultures that are hundreds of years apart. Upon studying the book of Genesis and the story of Gilgamesh; whereas one is myth and the other one is the basis of many different religions, but they both have notably similar accounts of symbols, motifs, meaningful events according to the relationship between divine and human in literature.


Along with different languages, customs, and traditions; ancient Hebrews, Middle-easterners and Romans had very different beliefs about the divine. For example, Hebrew is monotheistic, while Gilgamesh outlines many deity-Gods. But the both text have fundamental links in the relationships between deity and mankind is the issue of knowledge, which aids in control. The Bible and Gilgamesh, myth or religion, story or truth, these literary texts conjunctively parallel and contrast each other in various aspects such as wisdom. Knowledge is a prominent characteristic that is central in Gilgamesh and Genesis and this built a bridge links as well as the distinctness of power between omniscient god and mankind.

The ancient epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis both texts place a strong emp...


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...s a human. The acquisition of knowledge pressures Enlil to make Utnapishtim immortal and a god. The rationale utilized is a clear indication that knowledge is preserved only for gods and punishment is reserved for man.


In the complicated relations of humanity and deity, the hierarchy must be maintained in order to continue the ideas of worship sacrifice and honor. Wisdom is the key which keeps the hierarchy off balance, favoring God or the gods over mankind. Clearly, in the realm of religious text, deities prefer to control mankind's wisdom to maintain the higher status within the relationship.








Works Cited

"Genesis." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd ed. Lawall, Sarah. New York: WW Norton & Company, 2002. 56-63.

"Gilgamesh." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd ed. Lawall, Sarah. New York: WW Norton & Company, 2002. 10-41.


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