This is presented beginning on line 236 of Book V where Odysseus openly admits that Penelope cannot compare in beauty or stature, but he still pines for her. Also going along with this concept, is Odysseus’ sheer determination to mak... ... middle of paper ... ...nd the theme of immortality. However, each presents it in different ways. The Epic of Gilgamesh presents true immortality as deeds and actions that will keep your names in the memory of the people forever. In The Odyssey immortality is presented as something that is less important than your family and the people you love.
Love and Death in The Epic of Gilgamesh Abstract: The most interesting stories invariably are about love and death. These two themes underlie the Epic of Gilgamesh, a mythic tale of the quest for immortality. Gilgamesh, profoundly affected by the death of his friend Enkidu at the hands of the gods, questions the injustice of life. Finding no answer, he of course tries to change—indeed, eliminate—the question by seeking immortality. The following essay examines Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s relationship, and the effect of Enkidu’s death on Gilgamesh.
In the epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh embarks upon a quest seeking immortality as a means to peace, meaning, and joy in life. He tries to reach it in many different ways, each as unsuccessful as its predecessor. The two main types of immortality are physical and through the actions or achievements of ones life. Gilgamesh tries first through his actions, but then undergoes a transformation which leads him to next attempt physical immortality. He eventually comes back to the point at which he began; however, now he realizes that the beginning point was always the object of his quest.
Why is death one of humanity’s greatest fears? The fear of death and the search for eternal life is a cultural universal. The ideology surrounding immortality transcends time and a plethora of cultures. The theme, immortality appears in stories from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was composed by ancient Sumerians roughly around 600 B.C., to present day works of fiction in the twenty first century. The word immortality plays a crucial role in the development of characters in the Epic of Gilgamesh; it reveals the importance of life everlasting, and the triumph of humanity’s inordinate fear of eternal rest, death.
It is not until... ... middle of paper ... ... trying to take on the burden of the mortal world which surrounds him. If Gilgamesh can establish immortality, he can take on the emotional responsibility of all mortality’s inevitable death. Gilgamesh wants to free humankind and the immortal from suffering, and is willing to outlive mankind so that he can continue to be humbled and conditioned by the predestined loss of all living things. Works Cited Sandars, N. K. The Epic of Gilgamesh. London: Penguin, 2006.
Gilgamesh: The Epic Hero Unlike the heroes of Greek, Gilgamesh actual has existed. He is a mighty king who rules over the Sumerian city-state of Uruk around 2700 B.C. (Jager 1) The Epic of Gilgamesh tells a story of a rattled young king who travels to the end of the world in search of wisdom and immortality. While searching for wisdom, Gilgamesh realizes that he needs to accept human mortality and gain courage to lead a compassionate and fruitful life. (Jager 1) Gilgamesh is also a brave and adventurous character who exhibits unique characteristics.
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.
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.
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.