The Hero Of The Epic Essay

The Hero Of The Epic Essay

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Like in every mythology, the hero undergoes a transformation. Gilgamesh is no exception to this as he plays the role of the archetypal hero. As the hero of the epic, he experiences an inevitable spiritual and emotion rebirth after experiencing trials of hardship, anguish, and turmoil. He transitions from a royal pain to an individual worthy to be the King of Uruk. As the epic goes on, Gilgamesh and the readers learn the true secret of immortality, but not without experiencing a metamorphosis.
In the beginning of the epic, Gilgamesh was impulsive, incompetent, and an unfit ruler. He did not have any qualities suitable for a king. For instance, instead of prioritizing his people and city above all, he was more concerned with fulfilling his lust for fame, adventure, and victory. He disregarded his duties as king and was completely disrespectful to his citizens, who depended on him for assistance and protection. He lacked compassion and was too arrogant for his own good, which prevented him from being able to take the reins wholeheartedly. Countless of times, he let his immaturity, ambitions, and desires come between his obligations. For instance, he goes on a journey to Cedar Forest to kill Humbaba, a monster who guards it. He left the city and refused to listen to his advisors. In addition, due to his temporary absence, he left his city as well as his people completely open to harm ways. He did not even take into consideration the reparations of his actions and just proceeded consistently to endanger himself and his people through his reckless endeavors. Clearly, Gilgamesh did not fit the standards of a good ruler. However, his poor judgment and behavior provided him with the knowledge to later on act appropriately and efficientl...


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...nstead this tale encourages acceptance and the idea of preserving knowledge and hope for future generations. Gilgamesh’s story is so crucial and essential because his personal experiences provided knowledge to future generations. After all, the “Mesopotamians believed that the highest knowledge came to sages of the remote past directly from the gods or through extraordinary events not likely to recur” (xxi). He experienced everything and achieved complete knowledge. He wrote about his journey, which he carved on a monument of stone and most importantly, built the mighty city of Uruk. He realized that although, mortals cannot literally achieve immortality, they can do so through the preservation of works regarding civilization and culture. He learned the only thing immortal is knowledge, which never dies and lives on eternally. Knowledge is the elixir of immortality.

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