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Gilgamesh: A Mythical Hero Essay

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From the beginning of time, mythology has appeared to be one key method of understanding life’s confusions and battles. Within these myths lies a hero. From myth to myth and story to story, heroes experience what may be called a struggle or a journey, which lays down their plot line. Bearing tremendous strength, talent, and significant admiration, a hero holds what is precious to their audience, heroism. Over time however, no matter the hero, the hero’s role remains indistinguishable and identical to the position of every other hero.
Gilgamesh the king is a myth beholding various heroic traits shared in multiple other stories and myths for that fact. Towards the beginning of Gilgamesh’s myth, he chooses to conquer the beast of the jungle, Humbaba, and sets himself the goal to do so. Heroes must have a goal or else there is nothing for that hero to accomplish, and create a story of. However, once Gilgamesh accomplished his goal of defeating the terrifying Humbaba, he experiences a greater loss than the hero ever imagined possible, the loss of his best friend Enkidu. Although, once Gilgamesh realized what he had done was certainly the wrong choice of action, he devoted all of his time and effort into reviving his friend. On his journey for the search of eternal life, hero Gilgamesh essentially “descends into darkness” both mentally and literally while he enters the underworld to obtain his desire. Here Gilgamesh realizes that what he did was selfish and wrong, and that he is also not the only person who is of value in his life. Subsequent to Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh becomes aware that his decision to murder Humbaba was once again wrong and resulted in his own depression and loss. Throughout the duration of a myth, the hero mu...


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...teristics and literary devices. The general archetypical description of a hero follows an outline of a muscular figure and super abilities. Yet on the contrary, in myths, heroes may not possess any of those traits. Whether the so-called hero is learning their lesson, overcoming struggle or even descending into darkness, all heroes share some similar and almost identical characteristics. A vast majority of all mythological heroes share the same basic idea which, helps audiences identify whether or not the character is indeed a hero or not. From story to myth or fairytale to drama, the hero is one character who changes the plot entirely. Whether that hero may be saving a burning building, or discovering who they are themselves, our heroes all give us hopes and dreams that one day even our worth will be recognized by ourselves and others as our admirable hero’s are.



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