The epic begins with a description of Gilgamesh, “as king, Gilgamesh was a tyrant to his people” (Mason 15). In a way, Gilgamesh is formed into a believable antagonist in the second stanza of the story. The excerpt goes on to say,
He demanded, from an old birthright,
The privilege of sleeping with their brides
Before the husbands were permitted.
Sometimes he pushed his people half to death
With work rebuilding Uruk's walls,
They had grown tired of his contradictions
And his callous ways . (Mason 15-16).
Gilgamesh is described as a tyrant with immorality and insensitivity. However, later in the text, he meets a man he believes is similar to him, Enkidu. While their first encounter shows the antagonistic side of Gilgamesh, “[Gilgamesh] lunged at Enkidu” (Mason...
... middle of paper ...
...fying a change in character. Gilgamesh becomes an epic hero.
Even though Gilgamesh recounts the construction of a legendary hero, it is parallel to other epics in a sense. Odysseus in Odyssey was an established warrior, having fought in the Trojan War. However, even he developed benevolence character traits, attributed to heroes. In Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is a malevolent tyrant, and Enkidu, a leader of the animal kingdom, guides him along a path to heroism. Through the passage of the story, Gilgamesh develops vigilance, courage, and a sense of good and evil. He loses his arrogance. It is possible that the Epic of Gilgamesh does not end within the limits of Herbert Mason's translation. Gilgamesh may use his acquired heroic characteristics in later stories like Odysseus.
Mason, Herbert. Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrative. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Gilgamesh was two thirds of a god who possessed beauty, a gorgeous body, and great amounts of courage and strength that surpassed all other humans. His greatness was established through the wonderful walls he built around Uruk, a rampart, and a temple for Anu and Ishtar (Gilgamesh & Sandars, 61). Enkidu on the other hand was initially an uncivilized man created by the goddess of creation, Aruru. His appearance was strictly barbaric with his long hair and hairy body, whose innocent mind knew nothing of a civilized human culture (Gilgamesh et al., 62).... [tags: brother, strength, immortality]
887 words (2.5 pages)
- Gilgamesh and Enkidu Character Building Plot Gilgamesh and Enkidu: Character Building Plot The creation of an intriguing plot must involve at least one major character whose own actions and external interactions dictate his or her development. External interactions between round characters, static characters, and environmental or supernatural activities, within the plot affect the decisions of the major character, providing the foundation for the story line to proceed. These decisions also mold the character’s thoughts, values and will, thereby, influencing future choices.... [tags: essays papers]
1297 words (3.7 pages)
- The Epic of Gilgamesh is the greatest text of Mesopotamia and one of the earliest pieces of world literature. Gilgamesh quest for immortality explores human concerns about death, friendship, nature, civilization, power, violence, travel adventures, homecoming, love and sexuality. (pg. 95) “The Gilgamesh of the epic is an awe-inspiring, sparkling hero, but at first also the epitome of a bad ruler: arrogant, oppressive, and brutal.” (pg.96) Gilgamesh is 2/3 god because of his superhuman strength and endurance; he is 1/3 human because of his mortality.... [tags: enkidu, uruk]
988 words (2.8 pages)
- The role of religion in ancient civilizations was one of primary importance. There was no idea of a separation of church and state. Rather, religious and political authorities were inseparable, with political and royal authority seen as coming directly from the gods. While various ancient civilizations had different religions and different interpretations of how those religions interacted with society, all believed that the supernatural was a part of the everyday life. At times, as in the case of Ancient Egypt, rulers were considered to actually be gods and worshiped as such.... [tags: Role of Religion in Ancient Civilizations]
1933 words (5.5 pages)
- The story starts off with Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk, who is one third man and two thirds god. This story is about a man's quest for immortality in addition to the importance of boundaries between the realms of animal, man and gods. Women symbolize the importance of locative boundaries in the text. These boundaries are set by the harlot Shamhat, Ishtar, Siduri, the tavern keeper, Ninsun and Utanapishtim's wife. By giving women this role of wisdom and boundary enforcement, The Epic of Gilgamesh reflects how Mesopotamian society actually valued women.... [tags: Foster, Literary Analysis]
796 words (2.3 pages)
- The role of the gods in the lives of men is very apparent in many works of literature. The gods play a significant, if not dominate role in each and every one of these works. The gods use their powers for many diverse and essential actions. In the numerous works, readers can see the gods determining the events in the lives of men time after time. In The Odyssey, the Greek Goddess, Athena, uses her power to influence many aspects of the lives of both Odysseus and his son, Telemachus. Athena has an extraordinarily close relationship with Odysseus.... [tags: Greek Mythology]
1086 words (3.1 pages)
- Powerful. Yet full of temptation. The women in the Epic of Gilgamesh were powerful because of the knowledge they had. They might not have ruled in Mesopotamia, but they knew their place and they knew their knowledge was useful to others. Throughout this epic, there are women who get power from their body and ability to seduce men, women who are goddesses and have the right connections, and women who are merely just house wives with essential information given at the right moments. Even though the role of women in Ancient Mesopotamia society is lesser then the role of men, the response from women is more powerful and wise.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, power, wisdom, love]
1003 words (2.9 pages)
- In "The Epic of Gilgamesh" it seem like the women have all the power. The women have great influences on the men. In "Gilgamesh" sex plays an important role, and it also seems that sex has a hold on Gilgamesh and also Enkidu - not just a hold on them, but more of an addiction throughout the story of Gilgamesh. In the beginning of the story, Gilgamesh has a great lust that leaves "no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior's daughter nor the wife of noble men. To me, the lust in Gilgamesh's heart makes him a very selfish person.... [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh]
812 words (2.3 pages)
- The Role of the Women in the Epic of Gilgamesh Stories reflect and mirror culture. Some writers write about how things currently are in their own society and the position that certain people hold in that society. It is because of that kind of thought and style of writing that a reader can learn and in some ways better understand the hierarchical position of peoples in a society at a particular time in history. In ancient Mesopotamia, women had fewer privileges and rights then the men. Despite their lack of rights and privileges, women in high position were viewed as temptresses, tamers, and a essential part of Mesopotamian culture.... [tags: Ancient History]
448 words (1.3 pages)
- What if women ruled the world. The question does not seem so strange today as it may have back in 2500 B.C.E., an age when people tell stories of the Great King of Uruk--Gilgamesh. Although the story of “Gilgamesh” revolves around themes of masculinity and brotherhood--with its male prerogative, its composers develop several strong female characters which suggest women have great influence in a male-dominated, Mesopotamian society. The first female character that influences a man is the prostitute.... [tags: the Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]
1123 words (3.2 pages)