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[.]
After Gilgamesh receives the adv...
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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.
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