Choices in the Epic of Gilgamesh

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Choices: The Journey of Life

The story of Gilgamesh expresses the idea that all of the life choices we make throughout this journey are ours and ours alone. It is through these choices that determines how we live our lives from day-to-day.

It is within the beginning of this story that one is introduced to the life choices of Gilgamesh. He is the King of Uruk-a ruler full of vanity, selfishness, and materialism. "His arrogance has no bounds by day or night." Every choice that he makes is based upon himself and his desires alone. Gilgamesh "leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble." He makes his choices without a conscience or care. What he wants is what he gets. For he is the "perfect man," the King of Uruk, no one can deny his "greatness."

But, this "greatness" is far from what it is perceived to be Gilgamesh’s mind. In fact, he is simply an individual with an overly confident ego-an ego that causes him to make selfish and material choices each and every day. It is through these continuous choices that Gilgamesh leads a shallow, extremely self-driven life. He has no concern for others! Rather, his choices give him a life of material desires and shallow perceptions in regards to this world.

So forth, Gilgamesh’s material choices continue until he is confronted by Enkidu. It is Enkidu who serves as Gilgamesh’s brief transition into the light-the light of honest, true life choices. For instance, one night, as Gilgamesh makes his way to a "bridal bed, Enkidu steps out.


He stands in the middle of the street and blocks the way." Finally, there is a moment of pause for Gilgamesh’s shallow heart and mind. Although he does not realize this at the time, Gilgamesh has an opportuni...

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...and killed the Bull of Heaven and overthrew Humbaba, the brother whom I loved, the end of mortality has overtaken him…because of my brother I am afraid of death…how shall I find eternal life?” Despite Gilgamesh’s efforts to find this life of eternity, he too dies towards the end of his journey.

It is through this story that one realizes that all of the choices we make within this life are ours and ours alone. We are given this freedom in hopes that our intentions are humble, honest, and true. Gilgamesh enters this journey with selfish, material intentions. After meeting Enkidu,

he transforms into the light of honest and true choices. Yet, once again, he re-visits a portion of his old ways as he searches for an escape from death. All-in-all, despite the idea of death, life is a journey. It is a journey that should be cherished and full of loving intentions…choices.
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