Theme Of Mortality In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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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. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the main character Gilgamesh is conflicted with the death of his best friend Enkidu, in fear of death; he goes to Utanapishtim who is an immortal that is also human. Utanapishtim tells Gilgamesh about the cure and where to find it; Gilgamesh finds the cure but sets it down and then a snake takes it and disappears before Gilgamesh can realise it. Gilgamesh is portrayed has a sociopathic manic who is consistently killing innocent man and raping innocent woman. This is stated in (I.65-75) “Gilgamesh would leave no girl to her mother; Gilgamesh would leave no son to his father.” This is the first negative aspect of mortality that is displayed in the story. Murder and being raped is not a desirable experience, but is shown in this story to represent the hardships of being mortal. This trend would continue throughout the story has Gilgamesh would kill Humbaba, a Mountain lion and the Bull of heaven. Even though these are terrible being that may have deserved to die they are also great examples of how fickle life can be. Loneliness is another trait that is mainly displayed in this Epic, well one can argue that Gilgamesh got Enkidu so he was not lonely. However Gilgamesh would start off the Epic lonely and m... ... middle of paper ... ... are too stupid to see their flows. When talking about violence this whole epic was about conquest and mortals killing each other for no apparent reason. In this epic all the Characters were focused on their own problems and were unable to put anyone else before them. This is evident with Gilgamesh desire to kill Humbaba and how he made Enkidu help him by pressuring him to accept. Throughout the whole epic not once has there been a scene where any mortal had shown true sympathy/empathy for anyone. It’s like the author has forgotten that we are social beings that love or at least try to interact with one another. This truly hurt the image of mortals because it makes us seem like ruthless killers who are uncivilized and only act upon our impulses. Therefore mortals are portrayed has lonely, hopeless, killers who are selfish being that only care about themselves
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