The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

Length: 1129 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

One of the most fascinating pieces of writing, The Epic of Gilgamesh, deals with and explores many of the problems humans have wrestled with for thousands of years. Even though the text does not explicitly answer any of the questions it poses, the text gives clues that point to the answers. One of these questions, the dilemma of whether to act based solely on a person’s intuition or act based on reason and advice, occurs regularly in the text. Throughout The Epic of Gilgamesh, characters have success and failures when they act based on either their intuition or using reason, but the epic clearly points out, through examples, that acting based on reason instead of intuition constitutes more success in all facets of life.
The short epic revolves around the namesake character Gilgamesh, who regularly acts impulsively using his intuition and instincts without heading the advice and wisdom of others. The adventures and down falls of Gilgamesh illustrate why using reason matters so much. Gilgamesh’s rashness can be seen early on in the epic when he meets Enkidu and immediately decides to go after the monster Humbaba. Once he decides to go, nothing can persuade him otherwise (Gilgamesh 109-110). Even when Enkidu, who lived in the area where the monster guards, tells Gilgamesh “The haunt of Humbaba is a hopeless quest (110),” Gilgamesh remains steadfast in completing his conquest of the monster. When the elders hear about their king’s plan they sternly tell him:
You are young, Gilgamesh, your feelings carry you away.
You are ignorant of what you speak, flightiness has taken you,
You do not know what you are attempting[.]
(112)
After Gilgamesh receives the adv...


... middle of paper ...


... (147)
Enlil immediately felt remorse for his actions, but his action could not be reversed and cost the lives of all creatures not on the ark. If he would have sought counsel, the flood would never have happened. Again, when the characters disregard reasoning and advice, the outcome did not end in total disaster for the character, but overall if they would have used reasoning and advice things would have been much easier.
The Epic of Gilgamesh clearly answers the question of whether a person should follow their intuition or logic and advice through the stories of characters acting based off intuition then illustrating the consequences that ensue. Taking the time to use reason and to seek advice is imperative to success in life, and the epic deeply explores this with the repetition of this underlying theme.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- ... Gilgamesh journeys to and then through the twin-peaked mountain Mashu. He journeys to Urshanabi to find Utnapishtim, then travels with Urshanabi across the sea and through the sea of death, only to return to Uruk. Gilgamesh’s many journeys mirror his internal journey to become a selfless and devoted king. Enkidu 's quest to the underworld—through the twin-peaked mountain Mashu, to Siduri 's tavern, across the sea of death with Urshanabi—was to find Utanapishtim and discover the secret to immortality....   [tags: Odyssey, Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Achilles]

Better Essays
2351 words (6.7 pages)

Gilgamesh And The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essays

- The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem that was one of the first works of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia. The epics main character is Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gilgamesh is two-thirds god and one-third human and he is the king of Uruk. Despite being protector of the city he is a rapist and the gods send Enkidu to defeat Gilgamesh. However, when they meet and battle they become commendable friends afterwards. Together they go on several journeys throughout the first half of the epic and once Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh spends the second half of the epic searching for eternal life....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Epic poetry, Sumer]

Better Essays
706 words (2 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- Epic of Gilgamesh The epic of Gilgamesh introduces Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, who was one-third man and two-thirds god. His activities that are seen in the story are building magnificent temple towers, surrounding his city its high walls, and laid out fields and orchards. The epic’s preludes his physical beauty, sagacious and immense strength. He was godlike in body and mind he began his kingship as cruel tyrant ruler. Gilgamesh is involved in activities that were not pleasing at all such as raping any woman who struck his fancy; he never considered whether she was one of his warrior’s wife or the noble man’s daughter....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Odyssey, Epic poetry, Ishtar]

Better Essays
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Gilgamesh And The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem that was one of the first works of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia. The epic main character is Gilgamesh, and Enkidu. Gilgamesh is two-thirds god and one-third human and he is the king of Uruk. Despite being the protector of the city, he is a rapist and the gods send Enkidu to defeat Gilgamesh. However, when they meet and battle they become commendable friends afterwards. Together they go on several journeys throughout the first half of the epic and once Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh spends the second half of the epic searching for eternal life....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Mesopotamia]

Better Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay example

- Gilgamesh, the mythological King of Uruk, is the main feature in the ancient poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh. Early on in the poem readers learn that Gilgamesh has a harsh and overpowering personality. In fact, many of his nobles live in fear and do not dare to confront him. As a result, they decide to call upon Aruru, the Goddess of Creation, to create a brave enough being that will challenge Gilgamesh. Aruru creates out of moistened clay, Enkidu, who is both equally as strong and as powerful as Gilgamesh....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Enkidu]

Better Essays
720 words (2.1 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- ... The appearance of Gilgamesh at this point in the story is reminiscent of how Enkidu was when he was created. Siduri questions Gilgamesh on his appearance, physically and spiritually. Siduri asks, “why are your cheeks so emaciated, your expression so desolate. Why is your heart so wretched, your features so haggard. Why is there such sadness deep within you. Why do you look like one who has been traveling a long distance so that ice and heat have seared your face?” (Tablet X, p. 54) These questions from Siduri shows that Gilgamesh is deeply afflicted by the tragic death of Enkidu....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Enkidu, Epic poetry]

Better Essays
856 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Gilgamesh, The Epic Of Gilgamesh

- In The Epic of Gilgamesh, the lines that are repeated at the beginning and the end of the epic shows the only definite immortality a human can gain lies in creating things that last beyond a person’s lifetime. Though at first on a quest for eternal life, when Gilgamesh concludes his journey he realizes that he has created an enduring legend through the foundation of his city, Uruk. Through this legend, Gilgamesh lives on in the memory of his people, long after he has passed away. The epic conveys this message multiple ways....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Mesopotamia]

Better Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- ... The hunter who discovered him sends a prostitute into the forest to tame him by having sex with him. The hunter believed that sex would domesticate and civilize Enkidu like many others believed at the time. After Enkidu sleeps with the prostitute he is rejected by the animals because he is no longer one of them, so the prostitute teaches him how to be a man and not an animal. Once Enkidu is told about Gilgamesh’s behavior he becomes outraged, and heads to Uruk to challenge him. Once Eniku arrives, Gilgamesh is about to force a new bride to sleep with him, but Eniku blocks the doorway....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Uruk, Shamash]

Better Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest known stories, recounts the tale of the reckless King Gilgamesh and his adventures with his friend Enkidu, a natural man created by the gods from clay to humble and teach Gilgamesh to become a better ruler. Through Enkidu’s death, the once fearless Gilgamesh becomes fearful of his own inevitable demise and journeys to find immortality. However, by finding compassion for his humanity, he is able to come to terms with his mortality and continue living wholeheartedly as the ruler of Uruk....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Uruk, Enkidu]

Better Essays
2008 words (5.7 pages)

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]

Free Essays
1766 words (5 pages)