The Epic of Gilgamesh

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In the ancient Mesopotamian world, the realm of civilization was viewed to be highly illustrious. At the same time, this state of advancement of great antiquity was also an attribute of divinity. The elements of civilization were intimately associated to the highly esteemed divine mediation. Despite the prominent theology culture in The Epic of Gilgamesh, divine intervention is not the only element that could transform the crude heroic figures into sagacious men. Strength and power are definitely not the only possessions that could advance one in life even though they clearly distinguish the heroes from ordinary men. It is rather, more significantly, the process of internalization. No civilization emerges directly and independently – it is through the very concerns and actions of a man that one begins to assimilate as he or she encounters and surmounts them. In this epic poem, through the actions and larger than life experiences, emerged a very human concern with mortality, the quest for knowledge and also an escape from the common lot of men – death. For Gilgamesh, the most predominant heroic figure, the desires for divinity and destiny as a mortal man in this regard have become the gateway for the internalization of humanity through the following intertwining aspects: the meaning of love and compassion, the meaning of loss and of growing older as well as the meaning of mortality.

Gilgamesh’s first trek into humanity can be traced back to the one point that suggests him as someone who is much less the master of his fate than he presumes to be. He has not much control over his destiny despite being the King of Uruk and seemingly able to work his desires at the expense of his own subjects. Being two third divine and one third huma...

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... like the rest of the mortals.

Life that gods retain in their own keeping is not human life, for human life in reality depends on the passage of time and every possibility of death (Sandars 102). Gaining nothing but a journey full of spiritual knowledge and insights, Gilgamesh learns to internalize the meaning of life with a sense of control as he returns to Uruk. For he is only a two third divine and one third human; he agrees with human constraints, he accepts his destiny, and he is now ready to be King Gilgamesh, the respectable King of Uruk until the end of his mortality.

Works Cited

Sandars, N. K. The Epic of Gilgamesh: an English Version, with an Introduction.

Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972. Print.

"Archetypes." Attleboro School District. Web. 16 Oct. 2011.

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