Choices and Consequences in the Epic of Gilgamesh

Choices and Consequences in the Epic of Gilgamesh

Length: 608 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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. Of course Enkidu ends up being a good addition to Gilgamesh's life. The friendship is beneficial to both Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

Enkidu had been perfectly content running in the forest with the wild animals. He never wanted more, possibly because he did not know how much more the world had to offer. Until Shamhat comes and takes Enkidu's innocence, Enkidu does not even search for more than he already has. He was happy to eat grass and share the animal's water hole. Enkidu loses his animal-like strength but gains understanding. At the end of his life, Enkidu briefly regrets his time with Shamhat, because of what it cost him. Shamash reminds him of the good that has come from his introduction to "civilization".

Boredom causes Gilgamesh and Enkidu to make another bad choice. Gilgamesh decides to make a name for him. Gilgamesh wants to go to the great cedar forest and cut down all the cedar trees. In order to do this they need to kill the Guardian of the Cedar Forest, Humbaba. Enkidu has seen this demon and initially tries to dissuade Gilgamesh. Enkidu is not the only one trying to discourage this adventure. The elders and Ninsun also try to discourage the adventure. Gilgamesh is given many opportunities to make a different choice, but does not choose to. He continues on to make a name for himself. Even in the midst of the battle Gilgamesh is given the opportunity to spare the life of Humbaba. Once again Gilgamesh makes a choice, he chooses to slay the great demon. Humbaba then curses Enkidu. Sometimes a choice may not only affect the one that makes the choice, but others also. Gilgamesh chooses to kill Humbaba. Enkidu even tries to talk Gilgamesh out of it, but in the end it was Gilgamesh that is cursed.

Later another choice that Gilamesh makes affects Enkidu. Ishtar wants Gilgamesh.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Choices and Consequences in the Epic of Gilgamesh." 20 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh

- “In The Epic of Gilgamesh” Gilgamesh initially didn’t fear anything or anyone because he had power and he ruled the city of Urk. Unfortunately, the gods became livid with Gilgamesh behavior so they created someone that was very identical to him. Gilgamesh formed a connection with Enkidu, but unfortunately the friendship did not last long because Enkidu was killed. Gilgamesh became so scared of death that he decided to go on a journey for Utanapishtim because he had all the answer he was looking for to help him....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Ishtar, Enkidu]

Research Papers
750 words (2.1 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest known stories, recounts the tale of the reckless King Gilgamesh and his adventures with his friend Enkidu, a natural man created by the gods from clay to humble and teach Gilgamesh to become a better ruler. Through Enkidu’s death, the once fearless Gilgamesh becomes fearful of his own inevitable demise and journeys to find immortality. However, by finding compassion for his humanity, he is able to come to terms with his mortality and continue living wholeheartedly as the ruler of Uruk....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Uruk, Enkidu]

Research Papers
2008 words (5.7 pages)

The Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- Perhaps one of the main reasons the Epic of Gilgamesh is so popular and has lasted such a long time, is because it offers insight into the human concerns of people four thousand years ago, many of which are still relevant today. Some of these human concerns found in the book that are still applicable today include: the fear and concerns people have in relation to death, overwhelming desires to be immortal, and the impact a friendship has on a person’s life. It does not take a great deal of insight into The Epic of Gilgamesh for a person to locate these themes in the story, and even less introspection to relate to them....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]

Research Papers
1053 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Epic Of Gilgamesh

- When analyzing the character Gilgamesh, the questions arose; who is he, what type of person is being exemplified, and what role does he play. The answer to these questions can be somewhat challenging to answer because his character transitions throughout the reading of the “Epic of Gilgamesh”. Over the course of the Epic, he transitions from an astringent leader of the community to someone who has more humbleness to his character. Gilgamesh’s character is transformed from power hungry, to prowess, and then a humbled individual....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Enkidu, Uruk]

Research Papers
1160 words (3.3 pages)

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- The quoted passage from book The Epic of Gilgamesh is an excerpt from Old Babylonian tablet from Ishchali in which Gilgamesh defeated Humbaba with the support from Enkidu. In this passage, Gilgamesh was advised and guided by Enkidu from preparing how to fight with Humbaba, to actually defeated him. The depiction of the excerpt highlights the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu as Enkidu motivated Gilgamesh to succeed, not only for killing Humbaba but also for becoming a better man. The first eight lines talks about the conversation between Gilgamesh and Enkidu before the fight....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Cedar Forest, Stockholm Metro]

Research Papers
1099 words (3.1 pages)

A Hero, The Gods, and Mortal Men Essay

- Clack. Bang. Swish. The sweet sound of armor spears, flying arrows, and slicing swords are nothing more than the sounds of a hero pursuing a quest to greatness. Throughout history people long to find that inner-being who becomes enlightened with knowledge to acquire an everlasting existence. For one to search for everlasting life and conquer beast may merely be just a rhythm of life that has forever held to the test of time. For any man and every man can relate to a god, but the human mortality of temporary existence comes bleeding through at some point in time....   [tags: Gilgamesh, Beowolf, Odysseus]

Research Papers
967 words (2.8 pages)

The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- One of the most fascinating pieces of writing, The Epic of Gilgamesh, deals with and explores many of the problems humans have wrestled with for thousands of years. Even though the text does not explicitly answer any of the questions it poses, the text gives clues that point to the answers. One of these questions, the dilemma of whether to act based solely on a person’s intuition or act based on reason and advice, occurs regularly in the text. Throughout The Epic of Gilgamesh, characters have success and failures when they act based on either their intuition or using reason, but the epic clearly points out, through examples, that acting based on reason instead of intuition constitutes more s...   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Enkidu]

Research Papers
1129 words (3.2 pages)

The Epic Of Gilgamesh And Monkey Essay

- Unit 1: Journey Historically journeys were seen as the physical movement of a group of people migrating from one place to another. Additionally, journeys were usually only found throughout the history of civilization and religion. Despite this, journeys come in all aspects and are found in a variety of mediums. Specifically, two journeys that are found in the literary works of The Epic of Gilgamesh and Monkey: A Journey to the West are physical and intellectual. These two stories exemplify what a journey consists of by construction the plots around each protagonist participating in both journeys....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Enkidu]

Research Papers
1379 words (3.9 pages)

Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh Essay

- Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh In this paper, I seek to explore the identities and relationships between Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the epic poem of Gilgamesh, up through Enkidu’s death. I will explore the gender identity of each independently and then in relation to each other, and how their gender identity influences that relationship. I will also explore other aspects of their identity and how they came to their identities as well, through theories such as social conditioning....   [tags: Gilgamesh epic Poem Essays]

Research Papers
1974 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on Importance of Loyalty in the Epic of Gilgamesh

- Loyalty in The Epic of Gilgamesh The ancient Mesopotamian writing, The Epic of Gilgamesh, gives readers insight into the traditions and customs of the people who wrote it. Like all epics, The Epic of Gilgamesh is the story of a heroic national figure: this epic gives the story of the life of Gilgamesh from his birth as two-thirds god, one-third man to his death. Throughout the epic the importance of loyalty is addressed. In The Epic of Gilgamesh readers see that loyalty is the most important aspect of a Mesopotamian relationship and that there are always consequences for violating trust....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Free Essays
575 words (1.6 pages)

Related Searches

Gilgamesh rejects Ishtar and makes her angry. This time it is hundreds of people that pay the price. Each time the bull snorts hundreds of people fall into the Earth.

Another choice is made and another consequence is required. Gilgamesh is afraid to die. Utnapishtim gives Gilgamesh a chance at immortality. Gilgamesh fails miserably at the test before him. He instantly falls asleep and sleeps for six days and seven nights. Gilgamesh denies that he has even been asleep, and Gilgamesh loses his chance at immortality. Utnapishtim shows him the bread that he had asked his wife to bake. Gilgamesh is so overwhelmed by this fear of death. Fears and other things in our lives forces decisions to be made that still have penalties. Consequences are still a reality though, even when choices are not actually a free choice.

Consequences can be a source of good and bad in a life. Such as we see with Gilgamesh. Some of his choices lead to good things and some lead to bad. Still the ability to make choices far outweighs the penalties that may need to be paid.

Works Cited

Lawall, Sarah The Norton Anthology World Masterpieces Seventh Edition Volume 1

W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. Copyright 1984
Return to