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How Is Gilgamesh The Archetypal Hero

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Like in every mythology, the hero undergoes a transformation. Gilgamesh is no exception to this as he plays the role of the archetypal hero. As the hero of the epic, he experiences an inevitable spiritual and emotion rebirth after experiencing trials of hardship, anguish, and turmoil. He transitions from a royal pain to an individual worthy to be the King of Uruk. As the epic goes on, Gilgamesh and the readers learn the true secret of immortality, but not without experiencing a metamorphosis. In the beginning of the epic, Gilgamesh was impulsive, incompetent, and an unfit ruler. He did not have any qualities suitable for a king. For instance, instead of prioritizing his people and city above all, he was more concerned with fulfilling his…show more content…
Every action of his led created a domino effect and him to go on a journey. For instance, the death of Enkidu was a contributing factor into Gilgamesh’s transformation. If Enkidu hadn’t died, Gilgamesh would have continued on living in an illusion. Perhaps, this epic is meant to be a cautionary tale to warn those with a similar lust for immortality to not indulge in it and rather concentrate their focus and energy on something tangible. Since the desire of immortality is impossible to attain and leaves much reparations. So, instead this tale encourages acceptance and the idea of preserving knowledge and hope for future generations. Gilgamesh’s story is so crucial and essential because his personal experiences provided knowledge to future generations. After all, the “Mesopotamians believed that the highest knowledge came to sages of the remote past directly from the gods or through extraordinary events not likely to recur” (xxi). He experienced everything and achieved complete knowledge. He wrote about his journey, which he carved on a monument of stone and most importantly, built the mighty city of Uruk. He realized that although, mortals cannot literally achieve immortality, they can do so through the preservation of works regarding civilization and culture. He learned the only thing immortal is knowledge, which never dies and lives on eternally. Knowledge is the elixir of
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