The fear of death and the search for eternal life is a cultural universal. The ideology surrounding immortality transcends time and a plethora of cultures. The theme, immortality appears in stories from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was composed by ancient Sumerians roughly around 600 B.C., to present day works of fiction in the twenty first century. Gilgamesh, a figure of celestial stature, allows his mortal side to whittle away his power after the death of Enkidu. Undeniably, defenseless before the validity of his own end, he leaves Uruk and begins a quest for Utnapishtim; the mortal man who withstood the great deluge and was granted immortality by the gods (Freeman 36). The search for immortality is a universal concept that has presented itself many times throughout the world; it is a concept that stands in hearts of mankind; The Epic of Gilgamesh illustrates humanity’s innate desire to break free from the constraints of the civilized world, while at the same time trying to find the meaning of existence; a theme that that is perpetrated many times throughout the epic. With that being said, The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story that should not be simply viewed as a text that was written by ancient human civilization thousands of years ago; it should be viewed as a text that highlights humanity’s struggle to overcome the limitations of mortality, and the acceptance of death. This is a theme
Enkidu is a vital part of Gilgamesh’s life. At the beginning of the story Enkidu embodies the opposite of Gilgamesh, his other half. After Enkidu’s death Gilgamesh cannot go back to life as it was, he is lost and for the first time in his life, afraid. The fate of all humankind, death, becomes the last obstacle for Gilgamesh to conquer. The dis...
... middle of paper ...
...p. "Lessons from a Demigod." Humanities Jul 2012: 34-8. ProQuest. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
Gardner, John, John R. Maier, and Richard A. Henshaw. Gilgamesh: Translated from the Sîn-leqi-unninnī Version. New York: Knopf, 1984. Print.
“Gilgamesh Epic." (n.d.): Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.
“Gilgamesh." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2013): 1. Literary Reference Center. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.
Harris, Rivkah. Gender and Aging in Mesopotamia: The Gilgamesh Epic and Other Ancient Literature. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 2000. Print.
Jackson, Danny P. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci, 1992. Print
Journal Of The Society For Existential Analysis 21.1 (2010): 76-88. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
Sadigh, Micah. "The Foundation of Existentialism In The Oldest Story Ever Told."
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Search for Immortality In The Epic of Gilgamesh the main character, Gilgamesh, is searching for immortality. This want is brought about by deep feelings held by Gilgamesh for his dead friend Enkidu. From this, Gilgamesh finds himself being scared of dying. This fear pushes Gilgamesh to search for the power of immortal life, which is believed to be held only by women because of the fact that they can reproduce. This takes him on a long and tiresome journey to a land where no mortal has gone before.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
725 words (2.1 pages)
- Through the many of mankind’s tales of adventure the search for immortality is a very common theme. Many heroes have made it the objective of their travels and adventures. This is no different in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey. The heroes in both are tempted by the offer of immortality, however each of them turns it down for their own reasons. In The Odyssey, Odysseus rejects the offer of immortality from the goddess Calypso long after he discovers the true nature of the afterlife after travelling to Hades.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey]
858 words (2.5 pages)
- Desperate Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality seems to be an obsession for many men and women all throughout history. In the Epic of Gilgamesh a man investigates the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend, his brother Enkidu. That man, Gilgamesh, feeling the fear of the possibility of his own mortality which was before unrealized before the death of Enkidu, searches for a way to preserve himself. Is it truly that Gilgamesh searches for a physical immortality or more of a spiritual immortality.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
830 words (2.4 pages)
- Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality has been a major concern for many men and women all throughout history. True love and immortality in life would be a dream come true to many. To spend time with a special someone, the person one feels closest to, and never have to say good-bye would greatly appeal to most people. But when death steps into the picture, even with all the pain and devastation, one starts to re-evaluate themselves. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh explores the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend and brother, Enkidu.... [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh]
1379 words (3.9 pages)
- 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]
1699 words (4.9 pages)
- Grieving for days, lost in thoughts, and stricken with immense sadness and loss of direction, Gilgamesh laments for days over the loss of his friend Enkidu. Gilgamesh shouts aloud the following statement in regards to his current state of bereavement: “Me. Will I too not die like Enkidu. Sorrow has come into my belly. I fear death; I roam over the hills. I will seize the road; quickly I will go to the house of Utnapishtim, offspring of Ubaratutu” (Gardner Tablet IX 2-7). Gilgamesh so much feared death that he threw away his honor as a warrior in order to obtain immortality.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]
1847 words (5.3 pages)
- Heroes are goals for our own aspirations. Humanity is assembled around the necessity for role models and the transference down of information, this is how we learn. A hero is defined as someone with admirable traits or people who, in the face of danger or from a position of weakness, display courage or the will for self-sacrifice, whether it be moral in a literal or figurative approach. These notions of heroism are portrayed directly through the collection of relating texts, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,’ and ‘The Ballad of Mulan,’ and the film ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ A hero can be anyone.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh]
3030 words (8.7 pages)
- Choices and Consequences in the Epic of Gilgamesh Consequences are inevitable. A decision made today will have consequences that can last years or even a lifetime. Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu made choices that changed their lives forever. Consequences can be both positive and negative, but each is equally long lasting. Such is the case with the story of Gilgamesh. Enkidu was made because Gilgamesh was not capable of being a good King. He was too arrogant and oppressive. Gilgamesh chose to be unfair to his people.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
608 words (1.7 pages)
- Comparing The Epic of Gilgamesh and Noah and the Flood It is said that life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it. It is not the circumstances of life that determine a person's character. Rather, it is the way a character responds to those circumstances that provides a display of who he is. "From the Epic of Gilgamesh", as translated by N.K. Sandars, and "Noah and the Flood" from the Book of Genesis, both Gilgamesh and Noah face similar circumstances, but don’t always respond to them the same way.... [tags: Book of Genesis Epic of Gilgamesh]
1059 words (3 pages)
- Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis History tells us that since we have been able to write, our human race has had the habit of recording historical tales, or stories. Most of the first stories were tales of heroic men, scouring their land in search of some noble prize. These stories are known as epics, and they give us an excellent idea of the lifestyles and basic thought processes of early humans. Along the lines of these epics are the accounts told in the Bible, especially those in the Old Testament.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
993 words (2.8 pages)