Examining the nature of humanity and the reason for being has always been a topic of interest that transcends time, gender, age and culture. All literature in existence examines human nature or human interaction or interpretation with non-human things. The one thing we can know for certain is that life is not eternal: we all die. Despite this, each of us have a predisposition to survive and we go to extreme lengths to do so, such as by acquiring mass amounts of power in which to rule over other humans, ensuring a ruler’s survival. We fear what we know is inevitable, so we use the threats of power, including that of ‘higher powers’, to frighten people into believing that they shall face a terrible consequence if they threaten the survival of another. The Epic of Gilgamesh and the book of Samuel I illustrate the corruption that results from using the threat of power, be it human or divine, to ensure one’s best interests and the extreme lengths a human will travel in the pursuit of denying death.
The Epic of Gilgamesh follows the journey of the hero Gilgamesh, ruler of Uruk, who is two-thirds a God and just one part human. We are introduced to Gilgamesh as a tyrant who covets women and sends young men to battle or to endure heavy-labored work. As he is two-thirds a God, Gilgamesh is the strongest in the land, preventing anyone from challenging him as ruler. He is a dictator and has more power than he can use, so in the pursuit of entertainment that could live up to his God-like standards, he often causes great trouble in Uruk. The people of the city know they cannot satiate his appetites, so they turn to the only beings who have more power than Gilgamesh: the Gods. The people pray to the all-powerful Gods to create an equal for G...
... middle of paper ...
...cal reasoning which suppress the character’s actions. There are also characters that give into their desires to move themselves higher up in the hierarchy. The ultimate all-powerful beings are the Gods, who have unlimited power because they can control life and death. It stands to reason then that the characters who desire power would seek to be as close in perfection as the Gods; many of them do this by disobeying the Gods to prove their power. These plans often fail, as even Gilgamesh, two-thirds a God, could not control the wrath and ruthlessness of the Gods. The Epic of Gilgamesh and Samuel I examine human nature at it’s core by delving into the greed and darkness which resides in us.
The English Standard Version Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
Sandars, N. K., trans. The Epic of Gilgamesh. London: Penguin, 1972.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem that was one of the first works of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia. The epic main character is Gilgamesh, and Enkidu. Gilgamesh is two-thirds god and one-third human and he is the king of Uruk. Despite being the protector of the city, he is a rapist and the gods send Enkidu to defeat Gilgamesh. However, when they meet and battle they become commendable friends afterwards. Together they go on several journeys throughout the first half of the epic and once Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh spends the second half of the epic searching for eternal life.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Mesopotamia]
1269 words (3.6 pages)
- The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem that was one of the first works of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia. The epics main character is Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gilgamesh is two-thirds god and one-third human and he is the king of Uruk. Despite being protector of the city he is a rapist and the gods send Enkidu to defeat Gilgamesh. However, when they meet and battle they become commendable friends afterwards. Together they go on several journeys throughout the first half of the epic and once Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh spends the second half of the epic searching for eternal life.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Epic poetry, Sumer]
706 words (2 pages)
- The Epic of Gilgamesh The epic story of Gilgamesh in its long, poetic form speaks of another, fantastical world. Yet within the narrative of gods, half-gods, and humanization of creatures, many familiar themes arise that continue to be relevant and explored in modern literature. Ideas on friendship, the power of the gods and love are among those raised in the story with one of the main themes being the desire and search for immortality. As the story unfolds, Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, learns of death leading him on a quest for eternal life only to discover and finally accept the inevitability of humans dying.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Ishtar, Humbaba]
1411 words (4 pages)
- Defining the Epic Hero Clearly defined in The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Aeneid, and The Ramayana are the indispensable traits required by an epic hero. Through these works, each epic hero undergoes a series of particular events that illustrates the essential traits to being an epic hero: being a great warrior, piety, and knowledge. The first distinct quality of an epic hero, illustrated through the multiple characters, is his ability to be triumphant in war. One instance where great feats and divine actions are prominent is in The Epic of Gilgamesh when Gilgamesh and Enkidu defeat Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Aeneid, Enkidu]
735 words (2.1 pages)
- The Divine in Gilgamesh, The Old Testament, and Metamorphoses Along with different languages, customs and traditions, ancient Hebrews, Middle-easterners and Romans had very different beliefs about the divine. For example, Hebrews are monotheistic, while Middle-easterners and Greco-Romans of early time periods believe in many gods. Writings from the ancient time period sketch these differences, as well as the many similarities between religious beliefs. The Old Testament is an excellent reference depicting Hebrew beliefs, while Gilgamesh outlines many Middle-eastern beliefs, and The Metamorphoses shows readers many ancient Greco-Roman beliefs about the divine.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1133 words (3.2 pages)
- 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. Gilgamesh, a figure of celestial stature, allows his mortal side to whittle away his power after the death of Enkidu. Undeniably, defenseless before the validity of his own end, he leaves Uruk and begins a quest for Utnapishtim; the mortal man who withstood the great deluge and was granted immortality by the gods (Freeman 36).... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]
1509 words (4.3 pages)
- Epic poetry describes the journey of a worthy hero from his home, into a dangerous setting in order to embark on an accepted mission, with the goal of conquering or completing something great for an even greater prize. Although The Epic of Gilgamesh is meant to emphasize the power of true, loving friendships as the most significant reward in life, Gilgamesh is given multiple journeys to solve an personal, psychological issue that he had never acknowledged. Although the authors use Gilgamesh’s final journey to reveal that he is simply afraid of not being immortal, along with creating Enkidu, I believe that the true psychological reasoning for sending Gilgamesh to meet Utnapishtim, a man who d... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Ishtar]
1153 words (3.3 pages)
- ... Knowing this, it is easy to say that Mesopotamians at this time, strongly believed in predestination and that everything is picked out for you no matter what and can’t be changed. For example, in the book the goddess Ninsin, Gilagamesh’s mother, interprets Gilgamesh’s dream. “…He is the strongest of wild creatures, the stuff of Anu; born in the grass-lands and the wild hills reared him; when you see him you will be glass; you will love him as a woman and he will never forsake you. This is the meaning of the dream.’ Ninsum is accurately explaining Gilgamesh the dream he had.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Mesopotamia, Shamash]
725 words (2.1 pages)
- Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality has been a major concern for many men and women all throughout history. True love and immortality in life would be a dream come true to many. To spend time with a special someone, the person one feels closest to, and never have to say good-bye would greatly appeal to most people. But when death steps into the picture, even with all the pain and devastation, one starts to re-evaluate themselves. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh explores the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend and brother, Enkidu.... [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh]
1379 words (3.9 pages)
- Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh In this paper, I seek to explore the identities and relationships between Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the epic poem of Gilgamesh, up through Enkidu’s death. I will explore the gender identity of each independently and then in relation to each other, and how their gender identity influences that relationship. I will also explore other aspects of their identity and how they came to their identities as well, through theories such as social conditioning.... [tags: Gilgamesh epic Poem Essays]
1974 words (5.6 pages)