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Role Of Gilgamesh In The Epic Of Uruk

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Gilgamesh 's Role as King of Uruk Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, is the protagonist of The Epic of Gilgamesh, where the audience is brought through the story of a tyrannical king 's transformation to become a mature king. He would learn that his responsibilities as king come before any of his wishes for fame and acknowledgment. As a being who was two-thirds god and one-third human, he desperately tried to gain the attention and later on the immortality that only deities would have. In the Epic of Gilgamesh translated by Andrew George, Gilgamesh believed that in order to be a great king, he would have to complete heroic tasks such as killing Humbaba, the guardian of the Cedar Forest and going to the netherworlds to find the source of immortality.…show more content…
Gilgamesh ignored many of these kingly duties and was eager to become heroic and godly. "The young men of Uruk he harries without warrant, Gilgamesh lets no son go free to his father. By day and by night his tyranny grows harsher" (George, Tablet I 67-69). The beginning of the epic depicts his kingship as tyrannical and immoral, which could go without question or complaint unless the gods will it. Although considered great for his many feats such as his great walls and military expeditions, his faults could not be questioned by the commoners, which show a flaw in Mesopotamian kingship. Therefore, the gods ask Anu to create a counterpart to Gilgamesh to balance his oppressive reign. "Let him be a match for the storm of his heart, let them vie with each other, so Uruk may be rested!" (Tablet I 97-98). Enkidu, Gilgamesh 's counterpart, was initially created as a wild, uncivilized man rather than a demigod king. His position was to serve as a person that would try to prevent Gilgamesh from becoming so lofty and boastful and to make him become mature and make rational decisions. This becomes evident in Enkidu 's first encounter with Gilgamesh at the wedding: "For the goddess of weddings the bed was laid out, Gilgamesh met with the maiden by night. Forward…show more content…
Soon after completing this heroic task, Ishtar, the goddess of love and war sought to marry Gilgamesh. As a king who should abide by the gods, Gilgamesh had an outburst of denying Ishtar 's proposal because of her infidelity and cruel relationships with her past lovers. "[Who is there] would take you in marriage? [You, a frost that congeals no] ice, a louvre-door [that] stays [not] breeze nor draught, a palace that massacres...warriors," (Tablet VI 32-35). Because he denied Ishtar, this further shows how Gilgamesh is immature and not ready to accept his responsibilities as king by marrying Ishtar. As a result of her denial, Ishtar requests from her father Anu to send down the Bull of Heaven. His denial in taking part of the sacred marriage ceremony and his eagerness to disrespect and dishonor the gods ' wishes to punish his city of Uruk exhibits Gilgamesh 's fault in taking up his role as king. Gilgamesh took this opportunity to slay the Bull of Heaven to, again, have another event to add to his repertoire of heroic deeds. He arrogantly completed these heroic acts of the killing of Humbaba and the killing of the Bull of Heaven. Without humility, a ruler will be looked down on by both the people, and in this situation, by the gods. Since Gilgamesh focused entirely in trying to be a great
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