Essay on The Epic Of Gilgamesh, By Gilgamesh

Essay on The Epic Of Gilgamesh, By Gilgamesh

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Epic poetry describes the journey of a worthy hero from his home, into a dangerous setting in order to embark on an accepted mission, with the goal of conquering or completing something great for an even greater prize. Although The Epic of Gilgamesh is meant to emphasize the power of true, loving friendships as the most significant reward in life, Gilgamesh is given multiple journeys to solve an personal, psychological issue that he had never acknowledged. Although the authors use Gilgamesh’s final journey to reveal that he is simply afraid of not being immortal, along with creating Enkidu, I believe that the true psychological reasoning for sending Gilgamesh to meet Utnapishtim, a man who defied mortal life, was to help him finally reach an appropriate level of maturity, which he lacked from the very beginning of the poem, and to force him to accept that his life is no greater than any other mortals.
From the very beginning of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is introduced as a riddle-and-beast-conqueror and two-thirds mortal hero that rules over a city that he himself built, called Uruk. Praised and loved by his people in a god-like way for his strength, he is Uruk’s greatest protector. Unfortunately, Gilgamesh suffers from loneliness that no mortal in Uruk can solve. This loneliness is due to his lack of an equal opponent to challenge his power, and this results in him destroying the city and everyone within its walls. At this early point in the poem, Gilgamesh’s amount of immaturity is similar to a child that throws a temper tantrum. He also does not fear his own death due to his accomplished strength, which causes him to not value the lives of people below him. He does not know, nor care, what death truly is because he beleiv...

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... fails. He is sent back to the place he journeyed from in order to continue to rebuild his rule in Uruk, which he is originally too irresponsible and immature to do.
With his newly gained knowledge, Gilgamesh gains the ultimate prize of reclaiming his throne that he, in the end, rightfully deserves. The Epic of Gilgamesh has an ultimate theme of the rules of mortality and immortality according to Mesopotamian literature, and fits directly into the description of a true epic poem. Gilgamesh’s ultimate dedication to a friend, rather than himself, completes the idea of an accomplished mortal life according to the deities during his final journey. An epic poem requires a hero that exemplifies the ideals of the type of society the literature is created in, which in this case is reflected through Gilgamesh’s strength, and, in the end, his dedication to the city he created.

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