Essay about The Epic of Gilgamesh

Essay about The Epic of Gilgamesh

Length: 769 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

It is difficult for us to correctly analyze a piece of literature from a time before the development of writing or language. This recorded piece truly identifies what it means to be a part of Sumerian culture and is not only daunting, but insightful. “For there is nothing eternal on Earth.” I perceive this quote spoken by Utnapishtim not as words recorded in history but inhabited in time.
In terms of Sumerian culture, it’s easy for our perception of their belief to be misinterpreted. Especially when we look at the way religion is so controversial to this day. Religion played a vital role in their culture as it does in modern society. In “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” we found a story primarily based around the establishment of the city of Erech; A city run by a tyrant that not only prayed to heaven, but also worshipped the gods. Heaven set Gilgamesh on his throne. This was a time when gods were perceived as human, and female goddesses were thought to have created the human race from clay. Death and Religion go hand-in-hand in this story because of the role the gods play. Only gods can escape death in a battle and in existence. We later find from Utnapishtim that, “When men draw up a contract they set a term. (…) Time and seasons are appointed for all.” In early Mesopotamia, it’s important to understand that civilization lived under prophecy, believed in faith, accepted hardship, and sought sanctity. These mortals live in a world where sacrifices are made and rituals are performed when they implore aid or support from the gods. For instance when a bull is sent down from heaven, that means a 7 year famine lies ahead on Earth. So, religion is not as controversial as today’s culture, but in retrospect it was just as important to remain h...


... middle of paper ...


...r the ocean of death. Food and clothing was to their use as well as ours today, and garments, crowns, and robes were available such that they were in the Renaissance Era. I also noticed that a festival was held where tinkling cymbals and flutes were played and the city of Erech was dressed in festive throngs, so it’s fair to make the assumption that the Sumerians did not all live like cavemen. There were just some more fortunate than others.
Overall, Sumerian culture seemed very medieval, but was also a time where we see cavemen transition to civilization. It seems to me that Mesopotamian literature, glorifies kings as servants of or descendants of the gods. Ultimately, the story describes the existential struggles of a Mesopotamian ruler who must conciliate himself to his mortality and find meaning in his life despite his awareness of the inevitability of death.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Epic of Gilgamesh The epic story of Gilgamesh in its long, poetic form speaks of another, fantastical world. Yet within the narrative of gods, half-gods, and humanization of creatures, many familiar themes arise that continue to be relevant and explored in modern literature. Ideas on friendship, the power of the gods and love are among those raised in the story with one of the main themes being the desire and search for immortality. As the story unfolds, Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, learns of death leading him on a quest for eternal life only to discover and finally accept the inevitability of humans dying....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Ishtar, Humbaba]

Better Essays
1411 words (4 pages)

The Transformation of Gilgamesh Depicted in The Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- Gilgamesh struggled to establish moral principle. His personality at first was an arrogant, self-centered tyrant ; he was described by Enkidu "His teeth are dragon's fangs, his countenance is like a lion his charge is the rushing of the flood..." (pg. 16 line 3-6). But towards the end of this epic narrative Gilgamesh switched over to a more humble and sincere person. This adjustment in Gilgamesh's behavior shows his modesty and the morality throughout the story. At first, Gilgamesh was seen as an oppressor to his people....   [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh]

Better Essays
437 words (1.2 pages)

The Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- Perhaps one of the main reasons the Epic of Gilgamesh is so popular and has lasted such a long time, is because it offers insight into the human concerns of people four thousand years ago, many of which are still relevant today. Some of these human concerns found in the book that are still applicable today include: the fear and concerns people have in relation to death, overwhelming desires to be immortal, and the impact a friendship has on a person’s life. It does not take a great deal of insight into The Epic of Gilgamesh for a person to locate these themes in the story, and even less introspection to relate to them....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]

Better Essays
1053 words (3 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)

Comparing The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essays

- ... Another similarities, Manas and Gilgamesh is about fantastic stories, adventures and battles. Both heroes were described insanely powerful men that normal human don’t have such powers. For instance, Gilgamesh killing Humbaba, bulls of heaven; Manas battling with Tiger is more like fantasy story that only can be told in such epic stories. Further, both Manas and Gilgamesh have best friends who are Enkidu and Ak Balta. They were side by side in their adventure. For instance, most know of their adventure together are; Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s went to Cedar forest to Kill Humbaba....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Epic of Manas]

Better Essays
924 words (2.6 pages)

Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh Essay

- Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh In this paper, I seek to explore the identities and relationships between Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the epic poem of Gilgamesh, up through Enkidu’s death. I will explore the gender identity of each independently and then in relation to each other, and how their gender identity influences that relationship. I will also explore other aspects of their identity and how they came to their identities as well, through theories such as social conditioning....   [tags: Gilgamesh epic Poem Essays]

Better Essays
1974 words (5.6 pages)

Essay about The Epic of Gilgamesh is Truely an Epic

- The Epic of Gilgamesh is Truely an Epic An epic is an extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero.   The main characteristics of an epic as a literary genre is that it is a long poem that tells a story, it contains an epic hero, its hero searches for immortality (but doesn't find it physically, only through fame), gods or other supernatural beings are interested and involved, and it delivers an historical message.  The Epic of Gilgamesh is classified as an epic because it fits all the characteristics of an epic as a literary genre....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Better Essays
1699 words (4.9 pages)

The Characters Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Characters Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh "Aruru molded out of clay in the image and 'of the essence of Anu', the sky god, and of Ninurta the war god named Enkidu" (pantheon.org/articles/e/enkidu.html). "His whole body was shaggy with hair, he was furnished with tresses like a woman, his locks of hair grew like grain. Enkidu was the bull-man (a human with horns, tail, and rear hooves of a bull). In the Akkadian Gilgamesh Epic, Enkidu is said to have lived with gazelles and jostled other wild beasts at the watering place, until civilized by Aruru's harlot....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Free Essays
585 words (1.7 pages)

The Relationship Between Ishtar and Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Relationship Between Ishtar and Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh The story of Gilgamesh seems to be a collection of trials and tribulation. Throughout the book, you watch characters battle demons with each other, as well as within themselves. The tantalizing temptations that fill each character, ultimately leads to destruction and death. One example was the relationship between Ishtar and Gilgamesh. Both characters display a type of arrogant, 'ego-consciousness' (Neumann 63) that inevitably leads to subversive fate....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Free Essays
384 words (1.1 pages)