As a recap Gilgamesh is a feared tyrant and the gods create a warrior to defeat him. They become best friends and travel around killing things together. They get into a fight with a goddess who is in love with Gilgamesh and the Bull of Heaven. They kill the bull and Enkidu falls ill and dies. Gilgamesh then searches for a mystical plant that will grant him immortality but fails to achieve his goals and realizes that to truly be immortal he must leave a legacy behind that will change history forever.
Apparently, convinced not to use his power on his own people, Gilgamesh wants to channel his strength elsewhere, by challenging the gods. After Gilgamesh spurns the advances of the goddess Ishtar, she sends the Bull of Heaven to punish him. Even knowing that he has offended the gods, Gilgamesh scoffs at the punishment and crushes the Bull. Angered at this defiant action, the gods punished Gilgamesh by killing Enkidu, his only friend. And thus, Gilgamesh breaks.
“Gods can be evil sometimes.” In the play “Oedipus the King”, Sophocles defamed the gods’ reputation, and lowered their status by making them look harmful and evil. It is known that all gods should be perfect and infallible, and should represent justice and equity, but with Oedipus, the gods decided to destroy him and his family for no reason. It might be hard to believe that gods can have humanistic traits, but in fact they do. The gods, especially Apollo, are considered evil by the reader because they destroyed an innocent man’s life and his family. They destroyed Oedipus by controlling his fate, granting people the power of prophecy, telling Oedipus about his fate through the oracle of Apollo, and finally afflicting the people of Thebes with a dreadful plague.
For example, “the gods have said that one of us must die, because we killed Humbaba and the Bull of Heavens… But Shamash spoke for me and called me innocent,” 4 (Mason, 1970) pg 46 shows when Shamash, Gilgamesh’s protector tries to plead other gods for Enkidu’s life, they ignore it and let him suffer. Enkidu suffers and eventually dies from an illness, leaving Gilgamesh heartbroken. The interactions between the divine and the mundane show a sense of inferiority and superiority. The gods are very superior and get their ways, while the people have to obey them. For example, the gods decided Enkidu’s death and there was no way out but to abide to it.
He was half god, and half human and therefore, considered himself very great with no equal. The people of Uruk cried to the gods to set them free from Gilgamesh’s oppression by offering sacrifices to the gods. It also talks of the relationship between Gilgamesh who was the ruler of Uruk, and Enkidu his close friend. Enkidu was a wild man who was created by the gods to distract, and stop Gilgamesh from oppressing the citizens of Ur... ... middle of paper ... ...a journey to search eternal life which he never found. In the end, Gilgamesh learns that death in inevitable and every human being is destined to die; only the gods are immortal.
The Epic of Gilgamesh reflects this spirit of the warrior. Although Enkidu’s death indicates that mortals seemingly are at the mercy of the gods and death is inevitable, Gilgamesh nonetheless embarks on a quest for godhood: Enkidu has to die so Gilgamesh can live. Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s friendship prefigures G... ... middle of paper ... ...venture onto the stone walls of Uruk. The irony is that the story is about his failure rather than success. His quest started when he realized “[he had] not established [his] name stamped on bricks as...destiny decreed” (70).
The gods, particularly Apollo, takes great offence to this and decides to put Oedipus back in his place by punishing him and his state. (Mannani 2005) The punishment of the state is a se... ... middle of paper ... ...his blood cannot be cleansed by anyone but the gods and his religion. In conclusion, Oedipus's fate is his destruction in the chain of being, the ultimate cleansing of the state, the household, and himself. His rejection and persistence to ignore the power of the gods and religion is the cause for his great demise. Oedipus, a character too proud and knowledgeable, is seen as a threat to the gods.
Aruru, the goddess of creation, favored Gilgamesh, but was forced to create a half man, half beast name Enkidu to satisfy the complaints of the elderly about Gilgamesh’s harsh treatments towards them. “Let her create a partner for Gilgamesh, mighty in strength, let then contend with each other, that Uruk may have peace” (Gilgamesh 60). At first, they were enemies, but after a long battle, they became friends with Enkidu tempering Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh and Enkidu received the wrath of the god, Ishtar, after they killed Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven. Odysseus asked for the favor and instructions from the gods by giving them sacrifices and trying to please them.
Gilgamesh believes that if he finds immortality he will become more god-like and discover his purpose. Gilgamesh realizes that he was created greater than all mortals, but that if he cannot escape death then he ends up as a mortal in the end. So from the time of his creation, Gilgamesh searches to find a way to overcome this looming shadow of mortal death. Although he is told over an... ... middle of paper ... ...having given up the search for immortality and fame, and by having lost so much that he becomes the ruler he was meant to be. Before Gilgamesh was able to reach his full potential, he needed to complete a journey.
Arrogant, violent, harsh, and no self-control are self-seeking behaviors and characteristics being affixed to the king, in which all these opened doors to discontentment and dissatisfaction from people. Gilgamesh’s behavior guided him to destruction. This ego-centric manner blinded Gilgamesh from reality that his conscious tried to make him see. For an instance, Gilgamesh tried to strike down on Ishtar during their second adventure to Cedar Forest with Enkidu. Ishtar cannot handle Gilgamesh’s harsh rejection and provoked to send the Bull of Heaven against the people of Uruk.