In the Epic of Gilgamesh, we are introduced to a man who is two-thirds god and one-third man, whose name is Gilgamesh and his inseparable companion, his friend, his brother, Enkidu, a ½ human ½ god. Gilgamesh’s main purpose is to cheat death and gain immortality. In the process of trying to gain immortality, Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill two Godly beings. Due to that, the Gods declared that one had to die, therefore they killed Enkidu. It was the first time Gilgamesh has had to face death, and it caused him to fear it even more, making his journey way more important than it was before. Hoping to learn the secret of immortality, he makes a long and difficult journey in search of Utnapishtim, the one human being who has acquired it. Utnapishtim
The epic yarn Gilgamesh leaves me somewhat discouraged when I finished the book. This pessimistic ending is not the happy ending I was expecting to see considering the tragedies throughout of the rest of the story. The entire last part of the book, starting with Enkidu’s death, is nothing but more sorrow for Gilgamesh. The book seems to give Gilgamesh hope and then beat him down with more tragedy. It is almost as if the more he tries, the worse it gets for him.
3. Utnapishtim complements Siduri’s message by giving analogies in regards to the fact that death is unexpected. Nothing is permanent or certain except death. You could build a house that’s believed to stand forever, but is it really true? Does an agreement hold for all time? These are the examples Utnapishtim gives. While death is certain, the time it occurs is not known by man.
Character is built in several different ways. Some may view character as how one handles a certain hectic situation or how well one person treats another. A true definition character contains these elements, but one’s character is built and developed mainly on how one picks and chooses his time to act and his time to wait. This definition refers to restraint and discipline. Gilgamesh and Homer’s The Odyssey uses many instances in which the main characters must use incredible restraint to protect not only themselves, but also the ones they care for and love. Although both stories use this theme of self-control and discipline to develop certain personalities, each one tells a different account of how these characters are viewed by their fellow men and women and the rewards that come from showing the traits of restraint and self-will. In Gilgamesh, the character that holds back and exhibits patience is viewed as a coward, as Gilgamesh believes, and is a sign of a lack of bravery and confidence. The way that patience is portrayed in Gilgamesh reflects how the society of the time feels about everything in their lives. The author of this story wants the reader to believe that one must not hesitate and must act decisively and quickly. Opposing this belief, Odysseus holds back emotions of rage and homesickness in order to complete the task at hand. Homer, living in Greek society, understood that his people thought more about the problem before coming to a quick conclusion and then acting on it impulsively. So, although both stories repeat the concepts of self-restraint and discipline as character building qualities, they differ in the way that these attributes build or weaken a personality.
. Mesopotamia, current day Iraq, derived its name from words meaning, "the land between the rivers," which refers to the Tigris and Euphrates. This land was inhabited during the fourth millennium B.C.E. and throughout time transcended into political and military organizations. The significance of these cultures revolved around important warrior figures and their impact on society. The most important figure that will be discussed is the protagonist from The Epic of Gilgamesh. Many consider it to be the greatest literary composition written in cuneiform Akkadian around 2150 BC. This epic portrays the life of the great warrior, Gilgamesh. It chronicles how his victories, both militaristic and internal, ultimately determined his superiority. This relates to the ancient Mesopotamian society in many ways, including the role of warriors and the dual nature of Gilgamesh.
Ancient quests have been told in many generations for over centuries. Each adventure brings strenuous challenges that the character faces in order to achieve their objective. These certain quests have been characterized as archetypes. Joseph Campbell, a literary philosopher, managed to study different types of archetypes ; Campbell revealed myths tend to have the same patterns or stages that are constantly repeated. Any type of archetypal myth has three stages that the character undergoes: birth/separation/departure, initiation, and the return (A Practical Guide to The Hero with a Thousand Faces). Birth/separation/departure consists of five elements that the character undergoes
Experience is an important part of being an epic hero. This quality allows someone to succeed where others will always fail. Gilgamesh displays far more experience and knowledge than Sundiata, thus making him a better hero. He displays 3 main qualities that show he has experience. He is far more powerful and influential at the beginning of the story, he has more success in his early adventures, and (((((???))))).
Analysis of the Character of Gilgamesh In the epic Gilgamesh, there are many complex characters. Every character involved in the story has their own personality and traits. The main character in the novel is Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is a character who is very self-confident.
Superman, Iron Man, Green Arrow, Thor, Captain America, and Batman are all examples of our societies current Hero’s, many of which have superhuman abilities but not all. Even in our scientifically advanced society these characters and their stories still capture our imagination, inspire, teach and analyze the values of our culture. It is no surprise that one of the oldest written stories known is just that – a hero’s epic that imparts values and inspires greatness. The Epic of Gilgamesh, among other aspects, looks at the relationship between that of nature and culture. There is a central theme throughout this epic of culture and nature clashing; however, this author proposes that the epic is not so much about nature verses culture as it is about the balance of nature and culture. The Following sections will look at Epic of Gilgamesh and the Levi-Straussean analysis of the myth to support the authors view.
The king of Uruk, who lived around 2600 B.C.E, Gilgamesh, was one-third man and two-thirds god (Gilgamesh, 61). Known as present day Iraq, Mesopotamia was where the ancient sto-ry “The Epic of Gilgamesh” was originated. The story talked about Gilgamesh’s relationship be-tween his close companions. Meeting the immortal flood survivor and giving him eternal life was Gilgamesh's long journey. The Epic of Gilgamesh teaches about the Sumarian society.
Gilgamesh’s bargaining during his stages of grief shows a refinement of acceptance of mortality when the author writes, “He yearned to talk to Utnapishtim, the one who had survived the flood and death itself, the one who knew the secret.”(pg. 55) Gilgamesh, still unwilling to accept mortality kind of sees that as a human there is nothing he can do, and tries to get an unworldly being like Utnapishtim to help him. Likewise, Gilgamesh still doesn’t understand that nothing he does will change what has happened. He still believes that while he can’t bring back Enkidu himself directly, that if he goes on this journey he can bring his friend back through Utnapishtim’s eternal life. For instance, through Gilgamesh’s bargaining you can see that Enkidu’s death has brought grief to Gilgamesh because of his unwillingness to accept mortality, but has also had further pushed Gilgamesh’s hubris and stopped him from understanding his limitations as a human. Gilgamesh’s anger during his stages of grief shows the refinement of the acceptance of mortality when the author writes, “He struck at everything in sight. He hurried with his ax drawn from his belt down to the shore to find this Urshanabi. Coming upon some stones that stood in his way he smashed them into a thousand pieces.” (pg. 66) Gilgamesh’s anger shows that he is starting to see his limitations. He starts to
The main character in the book The Epic of Gilgamesh, is Gilgamesh himself. In the beginning of the book one realizes that Gilgamesh is an arrogant person. Gilgamesh is full of himself and abuses his rights as king. He has sexual intercourse with the virgins of his town and acts as though he is a god. Throughout the story, many things cause Gilgamesh to change. He gains a friend, he makes a name for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries to become immortal because of the death of Enkidu. Through these main actions his personality changes and he becomes a better person.
In the beginning of the book, Gilgamesh appears to be selfish. Gilgamesh’s “arrogance has no bounds by day or night” (62). Even though he is created by the Gods to be perfect, he misuses his powers and gifts for his own earthly pleasure. He has sexual intercourse with all the virgins of his city even if they are already engaged. Through all Gilgamesh’s imperfections and faults, he learns to change his amoral personality. The friendship of Enkidu helped to change his ways, for only Enkidu, who “is the strongest of wild creatures,” (66) is a match for Gilgamesh. Through this companionship with Enkidu, Gilgamesh starts to realize his incapabilities and need for his friend. When they fight Humbaba, they both give moral support to each other when the other is scared. Another event that changes Gilgamesh’s character is the death of Enkidu. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh goes through the suffering of losing a loved one. Gilgamesh experiences a pain, which no worldly pleasure can ease. By this experience Gilgamesh starts to understand his vulnerability toward death and pain. Losing his best friend causes Gilgamesh to be melancholic. At this point Gilgamesh is humbled by the fact that even he could not escape the wrath of death. Gilgamesh goes from this arrogant king to a lonely grieving person with fear of death in his heart.
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.
One of the main themes in the epic is that death is inevitable, which is shown through Enkidu's death. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh becomes very worried, because he realizes for the first time that everyone is going to die at some point in time. The fact that Enkidu is a close friend makes it even more visible to Gilgamesh that everyone is mortal. Then, along with this realization, comes the theme of denial. Gilgamesh does not want to accept the fact that he will die. He denies the truth, because he does not want to think about the truth or cope with the tragedy that has struck him. "And he-he does not lift his head. 'I touched his heart, it does not beat'" (Tablet VIII, Column II, 15-16). "'Me! Will I too not die like Enkidu? Sorrow was come into my belly. I fear death; I roam over the hills. I will seize the road; quickly I will go to the house of Utnapishtim, offspring of Ubaratutu. I approach the entrance of the mountain at night. Lions I see, and I am terrified. I lift my head to pray to the mood god Sin: For...a dream I go to the gods in prayer: ...preserve me!'" (Tablet IX, Column I, 3-12).
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a moving tale of the friendship between Gilgamesh, the demigod king of Uruk, and the wild man Enkidu. Accepting ones own mortality is the overarching theme of the epic as Gilgamesh and Enkidu find their highest purpose in the pursuit of eternal life.