In a more symbolical way of thinking, immortality could be living on through remembrance of one’s accomplishments. This paper concentrates on the character of Gilgamesh and his pursuit of immortality after the loss of his friend Enkidu in tablet VII. For such a powerful character, a demigod at that, Gilgamesh lets his human side to emasculate his true power. Desperate for obtaining immortality, Gilgamesh deserts Uruk to begin his search for Utnapishtim, whom had survived the great flood and given immorality by the gods. As Enkidu obviously becomes an important part of Gilgamesh’s life, in the beginning, he is represented as Gilgamesh’s total opposite; his other half in fact.
As Enkidu was the trigger for Gilgamesh to become “essential”, so is he the trigger for Gilgamesh’s existential crisis of mortality. When Enkidu is killed, Gilgamesh is confronted with his own impermanence, left wandering, asking “Must I die too?” (Ferry 48). This terror grips him, and he seeks to defy the transience of humanity. One way in which he goes about this is through memorializing Enkidu with a statue in his honor. When Enkidu is on his deathbed, Gilgamesh vows to keep the image and fame of him alive, effectively preventing the death of Enkidu in legacy.
It is known by himself, and by the gods, that he is to live a short, but glorious life, however it is not known how or when his life will come to an end. Achilles himself, wishes to live one of longevity without great glory, and therefore tries to escape his lot in life. Is it just for him to give his life for war, or should he live a life to satisfy himself? Throughout the “Iliad”, Achilles’ actions bring his eventual doom closer to reality than perhaps may have been planned. “Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilles and it’s devastation which put pain thousandfold upon the Achaians.” The wrath of Achilles begins in Book One of “The Iliad.” Agamemmnon, leader of the Greek army, takes Achilles booty prize, Briseis to replace his own concubine, Chryses, daughter of a priest of Apollo, who was returned to end the plague put on his people by the angry god, Apollo.
And Enkidu died because of Gilgamesh foolish actions. Gilgamesh felt that he was not as brave as Enkidu, but Gilgamesh said “I am going to die! --- am I not like Enkidu? !” (Tablet, 9 line 2). He felt like he needed to find a way to be immortal because his friend being killed made him scared of death so Gilgamesh said “I will set out to the region of Utanapishtim, son of Ubartutu, and will go with utmost dispatch” (Tablet 9, lines
They always interfere with the lives of the humans. Gilgamesh realizes the power of the gods when his friend, Enkidu dies and he hunts for the secret of an eternal life. He is somewhat jealous that the gods are the only ones who will live on forever. “What interests me, to drink from the well of immortality, which means to make the dead rise from their graves,” 5 Pg 74 shows the desires of Gilgamesh of becoming immortal. The gods are controlling the humans in one way, which leads to an imbalance in society.
Nevertheless, his fate was sealed by his actions of pride and determination. His pride of conquering the Sphinx led him to the marriage of Jocasta, his mother. When avenging Jocasta’s previous husband, and his true father, King Laius’ death, he was blinded by his pride to the concept that perhaps he was the murderer. Not knowing the truth, he cursed himself to an “evil death-in-life of misery”. Of course at that time, Oedipus failed to realize his connections to Jocasta and Laius, but recognition of the truth would bring him to his eventual suffrage.
The death of Enkidu, his beloved friend struck the core of Gilgamesh, leaving him anguish. Gilgamesh meets a few individuals in this tablet and they allow us to see exactly how much the death of his dear friend, Enkidu, effected his view of his morality. It is important to realize that when Enkidu died, Gilgamesh came to a conclusion. The conclusion being that he too would fall to the hands of death and Gilgamesh even questions, “Am I not like him? Will I lie down, never to get up again?”
Gilgamesh says: “Then if I fall I leave behind me a name that endures; men *will say of me, “Gilgamesh has fallen in fight with ferocious Humbaba” (71). Long before Enkidu is dead, Gilgamesh worries about his legacy rather than finding everlasting life. In other words, he would rather be immortal through the minds of his people than possess physical perpetuity. However, Enkidu’s death marks a shift in this line of thinking because Gilgamesh is faced with the personal reality of death. Although, Enkidu and Gilgamesh reap the title and pinnacle of legacy by defeating Humbaba and slaying the Bull of Heaven, when Gilgamesh is faced with the reality of Enkidu’s death, his words loose meaning as his actions prove
He is skeptical and expresses views that nowadays can be described as existential and relativist, but those terms did not exist in Shakespeare’s time. Existentialism analyzes existence and the way humans appear to exist in this world. It is concerned with the individual; finding oneself and finding a meaning to life by one’s own measures.That is exactly what Hamlet is going through. Presented with the jarring conflict of avenging his father’s death, Hamlet finds his meaning to life shortly before dying himself among others tangled in this mess. He was tasked by the ghost of his father to kill Claudius in an act of vengeance, which would be considered noble (though in this case, it is a regicide avenging a regicide; treason for treason).
“A tragic flaw is an error or defect in the tragic hero that leads to his downfall.” (http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/literature/bedlit/glossary_t.htm) In the history of literature, if the question of who was the most indecisive character was brought up, Hamlet would be a prime candidate. Hamlet had numerous chances to reap revenge for his father’s death but was only able to follow through after the accidental murder of his mother. Hamlet’s inability to make a decision ultimately leads to his demise, and for that is his tragic flaw. What makes a tragic hero? Dr. Peter Smith, Associate Professor of English at Kentucky State University, broke the archetypical characteristics of a tragic hero down into six groups.