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Immortality and the Epic of Gilgamesh
Immortality - (a) the quality or state of being immortal. (b) never ending
existence. Although that is the Webster definition of immortality, what is
never-ending existence? That question has a different answer for everyone.
Some people believe that never-ending existence happens by never physically
dying, and others believe that immortality can be obtained through your
children. I personally feel that your children cannot give you immortality
nowadays because of all the influences outside of the home. What I mean by
this is that children are not striving to be "chips of the old blocks"
anymore. They spend more time with their friends, or watching, TV, or
listening to music, not following their parents around. To become immortal,
you must either live forever, which is not very likely, or do something
that is historically noteworthy like George Washington, or Abe Lincoln.
Gilgamesh is an epic story about our hero Gilgamesh, and for a
short time, his friend Enkidu. In the beginning Enkidu is one which
animals; Later, however, he and Gilgamesh fight and become close friends.
Together, they fought wars, and ruled the city. Eventually, the goddess of
war asked Gilgamesh to marry her but he refused, making her very angry.
She retaliates by sending the bull of heaven down to attack Gilgamesh and
Enkidu. In the battle, they killed the bull, but Enkidu injured his hand;
he eventually died from his wound. After Enkidu died, Gilgamesh went on a
quest for immortality.
Gilgamesh was trying to find immortality for both Enkidu and
Himself. After gilgamesh got the "immortality" plant and scratched himself
with it he was bathing and a snake ate the plant. As soon as that happened
Gilgamesh started to cry. Since he had already used the plant on himself,
it was evident that he still wanted the plant for Enkidu. Another example
occurred during Gilgameshes conversation with the boatman.
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asked Gilgamesh to discuss his story about Enkidu. Gilgamesh said "Don't
ask me to retell my pain, I only want to bring him back to life."
Gilgamesh never received the immortality he was searching for, but
he got immortality of a different kind. When he returned to his people he
ruled differently, kindly. Because he changed his evil ways of ruling, he
will be lived on through the fond memories his subjects will have of him.