Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

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The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest known stories, recounts the tale of the reckless King Gilgamesh and his adventures with his friend Enkidu, a natural man created by the gods from clay to humble and teach Gilgamesh to become a better ruler. Through Enkidu’s death, the once fearless Gilgamesh becomes fearful of his own inevitable demise and journeys to find immortality. However, by finding compassion for his humanity, he is able to come to terms with his mortality and continue living wholeheartedly as the ruler of Uruk. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh learns to accept his mortality by gaining compassion for himself.
In the beginning of the story, the titular character, Gilgamesh, is highly regarded as the great king who built the city of Uruk: “And who, like Gilgamesh, can proclaim, ‘I am king!’ Gilgamesh was singled out from the day of his birth, two-thirds of him was divine, one-third of him was human! The Lady of Birth drew his body’s image, the God of Wisdom brought his stature to perfection” (100-01). Immediately at the start of the story, Gilgamesh is polarized as an extraordinary being, unmatched in power, and terrifyingly perfect which provides some insight into the character the reader meets. With his position as royalty, status as both god and human, and utter perfection, it is clear that Gilgamesh had no one on his level to challenge him to become a better ruler. Despite being partially human, he was unable to learn compassion as everyone was beneath him and even revered him.
However, his subjects suffer through his decisions and they complain to the gods about his reckless and uncompassionate behavior towards them. Gilgamesh sacrifices the young men of Uruk through his incessant battling and rapes the yo...


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...ty which he understands by the end of the story. The final verse in the story shows that he has the potential to be a powerful ruler after gaining compassion for himself and accepting his humanity. This is evident by the fact that his legacy lived on in this story.
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the titular protagonist, Gilgamesh, is able to accept his mortality through gaining compassion for himself and his humanity. He accomplishes immortality by achieving a notable legacy as the worthy ruler of Uruk. This story is relevant to all people because as mortals who are unable to see the afterlife, a larger than life character like Gilgamesh still struggles with this, but is able to triumph over it with his humanity and not his godliness. This provides hope for all those who are grieving over the loss of a loved one or are coming to terms with one’s own inevitable demise.

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