Preview
Preview

The Epic of Gilgamesh is Truly an Epic Essay

:: 9 Works Cited
Length: 1815 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Aqua      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

An epic is an extensive narrative poem celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero. There are several main characteristics that make up an epic as a literary genre. First is that, it contains an epic hero, its hero searches for immortality (but doesn't find it physically, only through fame), it delivers an historical message, it is a long poem that tells a story, and the gods or other supernatural beings are interested and involved. The Epic of Gilgamesh is classified as an epic because it fits all the characteristics of an epic as a literary genre.
The first important characteristic of The Epic of Gilgamesh that helps to classify it as an epic is that it includes a hero. Gilgamesh is the story’s epic hero. Characteristics that determine an epic hero in the ancient world include strength, beauty, and high social status (Tigay 42). Gilgamesh fits all these descriptions. His great strength was described as that which could be matched by no other. His beauty was so evident that he could have any woman that he wanted. In fact, he slept with all the women in his city. Gilgamesh was also made 2/3 God and 1/3 human. This fact alone raised him up to a god-like social status. He was the king of Uruk because no one could challenge his strength or beauty. Most epic heroes are also widely known and famous which Gilgamesh, being king, obviously was. Aside from his attributes and status, the traditional epic hero must perform heroic feats (Abusch 620). Again, Gilgamesh fits into this category. First, Gilgamesh leads Enkidu on an adventure that will gain further fame for himself and his friend. This was the plan to take a journey to the sacred Cedar Tree and kill the Guardian of the Cedar Forest, Humbaba. This is...


... middle of paper ...


..., Ltd., 1999. 21-48. Print.
"Gilgamesh." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Sarah Lawall. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1984. Print.
Greene, Thomas. "The Norms of Epic." Comparative Literature 13.3 (1962): 193-207. Web. 22 Dec 2010.
Kramer, S.N. "The Death of Gilgamesh." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1944): 2-12. Web. 21 Dec 2010.
Tigay, Jeffery. The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. 33-57. Print.
Vulpe, Nicola. "Irony and the Unity of the Gilgamesh Epic." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 53.4 (1994): 275-283. Web. 22 Dec 2010.
West, M.L. "The Rise of the Greek Epic." Journal of Hellenic Studies 108. (1988): 151-172. Web. 22 Dec 2010.
Wolff, Hope Nash. "Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Heroic Life." Journal of the American Oriental Society (1969): 392-398. Web. 21 Dec 2010.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Message of Love in the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay - The Message of Love in Gilgamesh Gilgamesh is an epic of great love, followed by lingering grief that causes a significant change in character. It is the story of a person who is feared and honored, a person who loves and hates, a person who wins and loses and a person who lives life. Gilgamesh's journey is larger than life, yet ends so commonly with death. Through Gilgamesh, the fate of mankind is revealed, and the inevitable factor of change is expressed. Before the coming of Enkidu, Gilgamesh was a man of great power....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 806 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Transformation of Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay - The Transformation of Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh In many literary works we see significant transitions in the hero's character as the story is developed. This is also true in the Epic of Gilgamesh with its hero, Gilgamesh. In this narrative poem, we get glimpses of who Gilgamesh is and what his purposes and goals are. We see Gilgamesh act in many different ways -- as an overbearing ruler resented by his people, a courageous and strong fighter, a deflated, depressed man, and finally as a man who seems content with what he's accomplished....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1766 words
(5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Heroes in The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Ballad of Mulan, and the Film Saving Private Ryan - Heroes are goals for our own aspirations. Humanity is assembled around the necessity for role models and the transference down of information, this is how we learn. A hero is defined as someone with admirable traits or people who, in the face of danger or from a position of weakness, display courage or the will for self-sacrifice, whether it be moral in a literal or figurative approach. These notions of heroism are portrayed directly through the collection of relating texts, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,’ and ‘The Ballad of Mulan,’ and the film ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ A hero can be anyone....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh] 3030 words
(8.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Change in the Character of Gilgamesh - There once lived a king, the great king of Uruk in Mesopotamia. This great leader was Gilgamesh. His preserved epic is of great significance to modern day culture. Through Gilgamesh, the fate of mankind is revealed, and the inevitable factor of change is expressed. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, it is a great love, followed by a lingering grief that cause a significant change in the character of Gilgamesh. Before the coming of Enkidu, Gilgamesh was a man of pure power. A being of which there was no equal match, Gilgamesh boasted upon his overwhelming glory and power....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh] 625 words
(1.8 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh Essay - Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality has been a major concern for many men and women all throughout history. True love and immortality in life would be a dream come true to many. To spend time with a special someone, the person one feels closest to, and never have to say good-bye would greatly appeal to most people. But when death steps into the picture, even with all the pain and devastation, one starts to re-evaluate themselves. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh explores the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend and brother, Enkidu....   [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh] 1379 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Gilgamesh, The Iliad, And The Aeneid Essay - Even though the Aeneid shares many features with the Homeric epic, as an epic it is diverse in significant ways. For this motive, the Aeneid is denoted to as a literary or else secondary epic so as to distinguish it from primeval or primary epics like the Homeric poems. The word "primitive", "primary" besides "secondary" should not be understood as value verdicts, but simply as signs that the inventive character of the epic was improvisational in addition to oral, though that of the Aeneid, collected later in the epic tradition, was fundamentally non-oral and fashioned with the benefit of writing....   [tags: Gilgamesh, The Iliad, And The Aeneid]
:: 4 Works Cited
910 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Epic of Gilgamesh Essay - Desperate Search for Immortality - Desperate Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality seems to be an obsession for many men and women all throughout history. In the Epic of Gilgamesh a man investigates the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend, his brother Enkidu. That man, Gilgamesh, feeling the fear of the possibility of his own mortality which was before unrealized before the death of Enkidu, searches for a way to preserve himself.             Is it truly that Gilgamesh searches for a physical immortality or more of a spiritual immortality....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 830 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Textual Analysis of Epic of Gilgamesh and Book of Genesis of the Holy Bible - A Textual Analysis of Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh The stories of the floods found in both Gilgamesh and Genesis contain many striking similarities that are inevitably beyond mere coincidence. One could surmise that both of these stories might have a basis in common historical occurrence. However, despite the fact that both of these works discuss a common topic, the portrayal of this event is quite different. Like identical twins raised in different cultures, the expressions of these works are products of their environment....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Holy Bible] 1051 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Gilgamesh and Odysseus: Perfect Heros Essay - Gilgamesh and Odysseus: Perfect Heros Gilgamesh and Odysseus are similar not only in their physical appearances but also in the way the two of them deal with life's dilemmas. Although Gilgamesh and Odysseus possess great strength and sharp minds, their own flaws blind them similarly, which does not aid in their quest for what they desire. As part of their heroic character, the gods must guide them in order to reach their goals. In every epic from antiquity, the greatest challenge a hero must overcome is not a monster or an evil tyrant but themselves....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Odyssey]
:: 3 Works Cited
1511 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Gilgamesh's Heroism Essay - A hero is someone who tries the best to help everyone and will do everything in his or her power to help out another person. The term hero means different things to different people. Today many people believe that a hero is a person who can accomplish what others can not or a person who puts themselves on the line for the other people. Men, women and children can all be heroes if they truly feel in their hearts the need to help others in even the smallest ways. In our modern world heroes are defined in so many ways....   [tags: World Literature Epic of Gilgamesh] 1553 words
(4.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]