The first important characteristic of The Epic of Gilgamesh that helps to classify it as an epic is that it includes a hero. Gilgamesh is the story’s epic hero. Characteristics that determine an epic hero in the ancient world include strength, beauty, and high social status (Tigay 42). Gilgamesh fits all these descriptions. His great strength was described as that which could be matched by no other. His beauty was so evident that he could have any woman that he wanted. In fact, he slept with all the women in his city. Gilgamesh was also made 2/3 God and 1/3 human. This fact alone raised him up to a god-like social status. He was the king of Uruk because no one could challenge his strength or beauty. Most epic heroes are also widely known and famous which Gilgamesh, being king, obviously was. Aside from his attributes and status, the traditional epic hero must perform heroic feats (Abusch 620). Again, Gilgamesh fits into this category. First, Gilgamesh leads Enkidu on an adventure that will gain further fame for himself and his friend. This was the plan to take a journey to the sacred Cedar Tree and kill the Guardian of the Cedar Forest, Humbaba. This is...
... middle of paper ...
..., Ltd., 1999. 21-48. Print.
"Gilgamesh." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Sarah Lawall. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1984. Print.
Greene, Thomas. "The Norms of Epic." Comparative Literature 13.3 (1962): 193-207. Web. 22 Dec 2010.
Kramer, S.N. "The Death of Gilgamesh." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1944): 2-12. Web. 21 Dec 2010.
Tigay, Jeffery. The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. 33-57. Print.
Vulpe, Nicola. "Irony and the Unity of the Gilgamesh Epic." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 53.4 (1994): 275-283. Web. 22 Dec 2010.
West, M.L. "The Rise of the Greek Epic." Journal of Hellenic Studies 108. (1988): 151-172. Web. 22 Dec 2010.
Wolff, Hope Nash. "Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Heroic Life." Journal of the American Oriental Society (1969): 392-398. Web. 21 Dec 2010.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Gilgamesh is a demigod that has no real companion of his own. It seems in the beginning of Tablet 1, the arrogant king believes he can top any man and get any woman that he wants. But even a demi god needs a friend. The first sign of a genuine transformation in The Epic of Gilgamesh ascends as a result of the birth of Enkidu whom was made by clay. In the beginning, a powerful connection developed between mother and son. The goddess Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh, said to him, “You will love him as a woman and he will never forsake you".... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Epic poetry, Gilgamesh]
1302 words (3.7 pages)
- In The Epic of Gilgamesh we are lead to believe that the one way Enkidu and Gilgamesh, these great men who are only truly one third man, exhibit their weakness just through the finite supply of their existence. They are reduced to mere mortals in that they will inevitably succumb to death. In reality they are plagued by the most human of all mindsets. Gilgamesh possesses an insatiable lust for what he doesn 't have and an inability to recognize what is truly valuable until it is denied him. The mortal in him only values things in hindsight.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Shamash, Enkidu]
1383 words (4 pages)
- In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh should be extremely civilized. After all, Gilgamesh is not just royalty but a king, and as a king he would have the reputation of being the epitome of civilized in this modern society. However, on the spectrum of civilization, despite being the protagonist and a king, Gilgamesh is considered extremely savage and uncivilized in the beginning of the story. He doesn’t eat raw food or walk around naked and dirty like what modern society sees as uncivilized. Rather than outwardly uncivilized, Gilgamesh is uncivilized inward.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Enkidu, Humbaba]
820 words (2.3 pages)
- Mortality a life of sorrow and death The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story that deals with various sub conflicts that are known to create a lasting impression on how we view the characters and their status in the general schemes. Sub conflicts like Immortality vs mortality, betrayal, death, violence and sorrow, gives us a grand perspective of how negative and pessimistic the general schemes and plot of the Epic truly is. Today I will be arguing that The Epic of Gilgamesh takes a pessimistic view on mortality.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Cedar Forest, Enkidu, Humbaba]
1368 words (3.9 pages)
- In the The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh sets on a journey to uncover his individuality and transforms from a brutal leader to a mature and astute king. The quasi-divine Gilgamesh debilitates his people by battle, forced labor, and his abuse of power. Gilgamesh is considered to be the greatest of all men until Enkidu is sent and counterweights Gilgamesh’s virtues and flaws. When Gilgamesh becomes fearful for his own death, because of the loss of his partner, he seeks eternal life. He unfortunately does not obtain eternal life, but instead he obtains the wisdom he needs to rule as a better king.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Hero, Enkidu]
1177 words (3.4 pages)
- The Message of Love in Gilgamesh Gilgamesh is an epic of great love, followed by lingering grief that causes a significant change in character. It is the story of a person who is feared and honored, a person who loves and hates, a person who wins and loses and a person who lives life. Gilgamesh's journey is larger than life, yet ends so commonly with death. Through Gilgamesh, the fate of mankind is revealed, and the inevitable factor of change is expressed. Before the coming of Enkidu, Gilgamesh was a man of great power.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
806 words (2.3 pages)
- Epic poetry describes the journey of a worthy hero from his home, into a dangerous setting in order to embark on an accepted mission, with the goal of conquering or completing something great for an even greater prize. Although The Epic of Gilgamesh is meant to emphasize the power of true, loving friendships as the most significant reward in life, Gilgamesh is given multiple journeys to solve an personal, psychological issue that he had never acknowledged. Although the authors use Gilgamesh’s final journey to reveal that he is simply afraid of not being immortal, along with creating Enkidu, I believe that the true psychological reasoning for sending Gilgamesh to meet Utnapishtim, a man who d... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Ishtar]
1153 words (3.3 pages)
- Gilgamesh, the mythological King of Uruk, is the main feature in the ancient poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh. Early on in the poem readers learn that Gilgamesh has a harsh and overpowering personality. In fact, many of his nobles live in fear and do not dare to confront him. As a result, they decide to call upon Aruru, the Goddess of Creation, to create a brave enough being that will challenge Gilgamesh. Aruru creates out of moistened clay, Enkidu, who is both equally as strong and as powerful as Gilgamesh.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Enkidu]
720 words (2.1 pages)
- The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic tale of a man who is held above all others. In the text, Gilgamesh if often said to be “two-thirds god and one-third man”. The Gods felt Gilgamesh had too much power, so they created another named Enkidu, who served as a brother, a protector, and an equal force or rival to Gilgamesh. In Tablet X the “one third man” portion of Gilgamesh is seen clawing out from his god-like body trying to escape the coils of death. The death of Enkidu, his beloved friend struck the core of Gilgamesh, leaving him anguish.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Enkidu, Epic poetry]
856 words (2.4 pages)
- 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]
1766 words (5 pages)