Uruk: One Of The Backgrounds Of The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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The city-state Uruk is one of the backgrounds of The Epic of Gilgamesh. Uruk was established at the southern Mesopotamia by around 3200 B.C. (“Uruk: The First City”). Unfortunately, there are no certain records about a king Gilgamesh. Whether Gilgamesh was a real man in history or not, he had been told as the king of Uruk and described as the legendary king in Sumerian mythology. His father was Lagalband who was a king of Uruk, and his mother was Ninsus who was the wise cow goddess. In an era of the city-state Uruk, huge wall surrounded the Uruk probably because of the order of the King Gilgamesh. Thus, historians assume that if Gilgamesh was a real person and the king of Uruk and he would live around 2700 B.C. As Greeks and Romans did, Sumerians built the relationships with gods in each city-state as well, such as ranking the order of gods. For example, Anu who was the god of the sky and originally had been a god of the city-state Uruk was the greatest one among the others (“Gilgamesh”). According to these historical and cultural background of Sumerian, Gilgamesh had appeared in many epic or stories as a superhero. Then,…show more content…
This is the most important criteria that determine if one is really a hero is returning from the journey. Since hero’s journey is the process of growing up (Segal, 93), Campbell’s criteria said, if hero returns with elixir or changes into a better person for society, then he or she had a hero’s journey. Therefore, the first journey of Gilgamesh is not a hero journey even though he had the great supporters, threshold and heroic effort. Even before Gilgamesh started his first journey to the cedar forest, he was strong and a self-centeredness person. He was selfish and did not care how much people around him suffered because of his behavior, such as rape women and wives of nobles. Gilgamesh was still the same person after he completed the mission. Then how and why Gilgamesh is a

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