Noahs Ark vs. Gilgamesh Epic Essay

Noahs Ark vs. Gilgamesh Epic Essay

Length: 1553 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Noahs Ark vs. Gilgamesh Epic


     The Gilgamesh Epic is an ancient Mesopotamian story about life and the suffering one must endure while alive. Included in the story, is a tale of a great flood that covered the earth, killing all but a select few of it’s inhabitants. This story of a great flood is common to most people, and has affected history in several ways. It’s presence in the Gilgamesh Epic has caused many people to search for evidence that a great flood actually happened. It has also caused several other religions and cultures to take the same basic story, claiming it for their own.

          Whether in Christianity in the form of Noah’s Ark, or through Mesopotamian history in the form of an immortal, the idea of a great flood has proven to be a common story throughout the world. Though Noah’s Ark may be the most popular form of the story, it is not the oldest. Many people believe Noah’s Ark was based on Utnapishnem’s flood story. The two stories are obviously based on the same thing, but one must wonder which one is true or which came first.

     The story of Utnapishnem in the Gilgamesh Epic starts with a dream that warns Utnapishnem of the coming flood. The gods are angry and want to rid the world of mankind. Utnapishnem built a boat large enough to carry his family, personal belongings, and “the seed of all other living creatures.” After Utnapishnem finished, the rain fell for six days and six nights, and it was so bad that the gods climbed into heaven for safety. After the rain stopped, the boat came to rest on Mount Nisir, and Utnapishnem released a dove and a swallow. Both birds returned because they could not find land. Then a raven was released and it did not come back, proving that there was land for it to rest on. Utnapishnem then came out of the ship and offered a sacrifice to the gods. When the gods smelled the sweet odor of the sacrifice, they blessed Utnapishnem and his wife to be like the gods and live forever.

     The story of Noah’s Ark begins with God being upset at mankind's wickedness. He decides to destroy it with a flood. God new Noah was righteous and told him to build an ark so he would be safe from the rain. Noah did so and took aboard his family and pairs of every kind of animal. It rained for forty days and nights, until the highest mountains were covered. Then God sent a wind and the waters receded, and the...


... middle of paper ...


...tioned. What caused the tidal wave is still a mystery, although many people believe it was caused by volcanic eruption, or a large meteorite crashing into the Earth’s surface.

     The other theory is of universal flooding. The idea of a great flood has been found to be conclusive with geological findings all over the globe. A flood this large would have deposited sediment throughout the world. It has been scientifically estimate that more than seventy-five percent of the Earth is covered with sediment. Fossils have also been found in the Rockie Mountains that contain shells and fish. Many other petrified “fish beds” have been found all over the world, including Mt. Everest, suggesting that a global flood did indeed happen.

     Though scientists cannot agree on whether or not a global flood occurred, the effect of these stories on science has been monumental, as well as the effect of the stories on cultures and religions throughout the world. If this great flood did , in fact, occur, it’s effect on history would have been great because of the huge numbers of people lost to it. Though they may be fables, one must keep asking themselves if they may have been based on fact.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Epic Poems Of Gilgamesh And Ovid

- ... However, being that this epic poem is over four thousand years old, the origin of such a familiar story stands in curious position. Within the epic, the gods become unhappy with mankind and decide to send a great flood to wipe out humanity. The god Ea betrays the other god’s intentions by tasking Utnapishtim to act as the Mesopotamian Noah. Ea warns Utnapishtim to abandon his worldly possessions and create a giant ark, stating to “forsake possessions and seek life, belongings reject and life save” (Gilgamesh 143)....   [tags: Epic poetry, Epic of Gilgamesh, Noah's Ark]

Powerful Essays
768 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about The Flood Of The Epic Of Gilgamesh

- ... To locate land Utnapishtim released three birds a dove, a swallow, and a raven. The ship landed on a mountain, Mount Nimush. Once Utnapishtim was able he made an offering, which pleased the gods. By the end of the flood Enlil made Utnapishtim and his wife like gods, they were granted immortally ("The Epic of Gilgamesh"). The Biblical flood is believed to be written between 1,500-500 B.C.E. The flood account is also believed to be composed out of two different sources, the Yahwist document (J) and the Priestly document (P), which makes for one theatrical and grand narrative (Boadt 99)....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Noah's Ark, Deluge myths]

Powerful Essays
2576 words (7.4 pages)

Comparing the Great Flood in Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark

- Comparing the Great Flood in Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark Many of the same ancient stories can be found in different cultures. Each story differs in a small way, but the general idea remains synonymous. One story that is paralleled in several cultures is the legend of a great flood. The epic of Gilgamesh resembles the Bible’s story of Noah’s Ark, but specific details differ in several aspects.      The story of Gilgamesh originates from twelve fire-hardened, mud tablets, written in cuneiform, in the Mesopotamian culture from around 2500 B.C.E....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Holy Bible]

Powerful Essays
1165 words (3.3 pages)

The Transformation of Gilgamesh Depicted in The Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- Gilgamesh struggled to establish moral principle. His personality at first was an arrogant, self-centered tyrant ; he was described by Enkidu "His teeth are dragon's fangs, his countenance is like a lion his charge is the rushing of the flood..." (pg. 16 line 3-6). But towards the end of this epic narrative Gilgamesh switched over to a more humble and sincere person. This adjustment in Gilgamesh's behavior shows his modesty and the morality throughout the story. At first, Gilgamesh was seen as an oppressor to his people....   [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh]

Powerful Essays
437 words (1.2 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- ... Although the two battled over Gilgamesh’s selfish decision to take the bride before the groom does, friendship emerged out of mutual respect for the other. Gilgamesh takes the first step towards compassion for others when he tries to console Enkidu after being defeated: “Why are your eyes full of tears, why are you listless, your strength turned to weakness?” (109). It’s evident that Gilgamesh admires Enkidu’s strength and is able to be compassionate towards someone as closely matched as Enkidu is....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Uruk, Enkidu]

Powerful Essays
2008 words (5.7 pages)

The Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- Perhaps one of the main reasons the Epic of Gilgamesh is so popular and has lasted such a long time, is because it offers insight into the human concerns of people four thousand years ago, many of which are still relevant today. Some of these human concerns found in the book that are still applicable today include: the fear and concerns people have in relation to death, overwhelming desires to be immortal, and the impact a friendship has on a person’s life. It does not take a great deal of insight into The Epic of Gilgamesh for a person to locate these themes in the story, and even less introspection to relate to them....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]

Powerful Essays
1053 words (3 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- ... This makes you get the idea: it is a lot of event description from the outside, which the narrator takes us inside the characters thought. The first taste of this is after Enkidu had finished his frolicking with shamhat. He, therefore, realized he would like a friend (naturally) after all that loving with temple-prostitute. Before even Enkidu tells shamhat that, the narrator, therefore, lets us inside his head for a moment. Narrator’s point of view also comes in when at some points the characters talk in their voices about things that had taken place into their lives in the past still this comes in the third person frame....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Odyssey, Epic poetry, Ishtar]

Powerful Essays
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- ... Before Enkidu and Gilgamesh venture into the Cedar Forest to kill the great Humbaba, Gilgamesh tells the sun-god Shamash to pray to the gods to bring him back alive, demonstrating that he is greatly afraid of death and being killed. On their way to the forest Gilgamesh and Enkidu speak about how if they are to be killed, the one thing that will remain of them is fame. Enkidu expresses his concerns about death, which Gilgamesh dismisses, telling Enkidu that that life is short and that no one lives forever....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Ishtar, Humbaba]

Powerful Essays
1411 words (4 pages)

The Transformation of Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Transformation of Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh In many literary works we see significant transitions in the hero's character as the story is developed. This is also true in the Epic of Gilgamesh with its hero, Gilgamesh. In this narrative poem, we get glimpses of who Gilgamesh is and what his purposes and goals are. We see Gilgamesh act in many different ways -- as an overbearing ruler resented by his people, a courageous and strong fighter, a deflated, depressed man, and finally as a man who seems content with what he's accomplished....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Free Essays
1766 words (5 pages)

Essay about The Epic of Gilgamesh is Truely an Epic

- The Epic of Gilgamesh is Truely an Epic An epic is an extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero.   The main characteristics of an epic as a literary genre is that it is a long poem that tells a story, it contains an epic hero, its hero searches for immortality (but doesn't find it physically, only through fame), gods or other supernatural beings are interested and involved, and it delivers an historical message.  The Epic of Gilgamesh is classified as an epic because it fits all the characteristics of an epic as a literary genre....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Powerful Essays
1699 words (4.9 pages)