They cut down trees, “then Enkidu builds a gigantic door…as a gift to Enlil.” (44) Upon their arrival to Uruk, Ishtar the goddess of sex, love and warfare wanted to wed Gilgamesh. In spite of this, Gilgamesh did not feel the same and did not wish to marry her. Ishtar was so upset with the decision of Gilgamesh that she sent down the “Bull of Heaven” (50) to kill him. The bull ultimately met its’ demise when Gilgamesh and Enkidu killed it.
Of all of the events that occurred, the gods were not pleased. After the bull was killed and the cedar trees were cut, Enkidu had to be seen by the gods in council. Thus, the decision that Enkidu must die because of these acts was established. (53) The death of his friend is unreal to Gilgamesh. Thorkild Jacobsen points out that “…it touches him in all its stark reality, and Gilgamesh refuses to believe it.” (Thorkild Jacobsen, “And Death The Journey’s End,” 191)
Gilgamesh goes on to seek eternal life. Death had never been a topic he had to deal with. Jacobsen explains, “death, fear of death, has become an ob...
... middle of paper ...
...ves after him. There is a measure of immortality in achievement, the only immortality man can seek.” (Jacobsen, 196)
The whole reason Gilgamesh takes this journey to search for eternal life is due to the death of Enkidu, with whom he was close with. Before all of the events occurred, Gilgamesh had never thought about the topic of death. It’s as if it never crossed his mind; as though he would live forever. He went through phases along his journey. The first was not accepting reality, the second was fighting for eternal life, and the last was accepting reality. Now, his aspirations for immortality are no longer apparent as he enters the last stage.
Thorkild Jacobsen, "'And Death the Journey's End': The Gilgamesh Epic" “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” trans. and ed. Benjamin R. Foster, A Norton Critical Edition, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2001
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