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Essay on The Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh: Life Matters

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In both, The Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh, the protagonist goes on an arduous adventure that changes his inherent persona. In The Odyssey, Odysseus embarks on a journey with his crew to return home to his wife Clytemnestra after the fall of Troy. A notable incident he goes through is being courted by Circe but he is able to escape by rejecting her. However, he and his crew go through a lot of obstacles in their journey, some of which includes how Odysseus witnesses the death of his beloved crewmembers. These adventures produced a glorious life story that is similarly close to that of Gilgamesh’s. (Chamberlain 7 Jan. 2011) In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh goes on adventures with his friend Enkidu. They kill the monster Humbaba and later on, Gilgamesh is courted by the goddess Ishtar. However Gilgamesh rejects her and she vows revenges which causes her to call upon the bull of heaven to destroy Gilgamesh’s country. Enkidu kills the bull while sacrificing himself in the process. After witnessing Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh is afraid of what death and what life really has to offer. So Gilgamesh goes on his own journey to find immortality and sees for himself what life really offers for human mortality. In the end, Gilgamesh misses his chance of achieving eternal life but he realizes that even though he will die, the life adventures he experienced have made life worth living for.
Gilgamesh’s story begins when he is born from a goddess. He was born two-thirds divine and one-third mortal. Because of his mortality, he could die even though he was part celestial. The story then turns to a different man who was born with an animalistic nature, Enkidu. Enkidu has an uncultivated persona, but he loses it and gains ins...


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So even though there are a lot of different sides towards this argument, there is substantial evidence that suggests that although Gilgamesh had to endure a lot of adversity, he felt that life was worth living for. In the end, Gilgamesh knows he’ll die, but he realizes that the events that he experienced have made life significant. His causal and sexual relationships along with the legacy of his tales contributed to the fact that life mattered. And as a result, this makes life more meaningful than death.



Works Cited

Dalley, Stephanie. "Gilgamesh." Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh and Others. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991. 39-153. Print.
Chamberlain Charles. “Mesopotamian Background of The Hebrew Bible--Creation”. Making of The Modern World Program. University of California, San Diego, La Jolla. January 7, 2011. Lecture.


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