Epic of Gilgamesh Essay - Desperate Search for Immortality

Epic of Gilgamesh Essay - Desperate Search for Immortality

Length: 830 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Desperate Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh


The search for immortality seems to be an obsession for many men and women all throughout history. In the Epic of Gilgamesh a man investigates the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend, his brother Enkidu. That man, Gilgamesh, feeling the fear of the possibility of his own mortality which was before unrealized before the death of Enkidu, searches for a way to preserve himself.

            Is it truly that Gilgamesh searches for a physical immortality or more of a spiritual immortality? Gilgamesh wishes to give the flower of immortality to the elders of the city to rejuvenate them and return the youth to the kingdom of Uruk. This show of selflessness and concern for his people is a sight that might not have been seen a short while before his meeting with Enkidu and his influence on Gilgamesh which changed his view of life. Gilgamesh clearly tries in the end to restore the youth to the elders for the purpose of keeping the memory of not only himself but also Enkidu alive. As long as your culture and relatives survive so do you. Every relative has a piece of you carried along with them.

            Why didn’t Gilgamesh just eat the plant and live as an immortal? Perhaps it was because if he were to eat the plant he would become a lonely king who just would become more and more saddened by his people whom he loved die over and over again and only he would remain. His close friend, Enkidu, was gone.  His father warnied him of the loneliness - perhaps this convinced Gilgamesh of his course of action.

            Gilgamesh has been through many adventures and he gained wisdom to go along with his god like physical powers. Gilgamesh learns that the greatest type of immortality is the noncorporeal. The worth of a man's life is many times said to be measured by the things he has done and the legacy that he has left behind. After realizing that he was not a god-man, Gilgamesh understood that the real glory is in the deeds you have done and the people you have affected in good ways over your life.

            Many ancient peoples had stories with morals to them. The Epic of Gilgamesh clearly promotes the moral feelings of the time.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Epic of Gilgamesh Essay - Desperate Search for Immortality." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=4984>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Gilgamesh : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Epic of Gilgamesh The epic story of Gilgamesh in its long, poetic form speaks of another, fantastical world. Yet within the narrative of gods, half-gods, and humanization of creatures, many familiar themes arise that continue to be relevant and explored in modern literature. Ideas on friendship, the power of the gods and love are among those raised in the story with one of the main themes being the desire and search for immortality. As the story unfolds, Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, learns of death leading him on a quest for eternal life only to discover and finally accept the inevitability of humans dying....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Ishtar, Humbaba]

Research Papers
1411 words (4 pages)

The Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- The fear of death and the search for eternal life is a cultural universal. The ideology surrounding immortality transcends time and a plethora of cultures. The theme, immortality appears in stories from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was composed by ancient Sumerians roughly around 600 B.C., to present day works of fiction in the twenty first century. Gilgamesh, a figure of celestial stature, allows his mortal side to whittle away his power after the death of Enkidu. Undeniably, defenseless before the validity of his own end, he leaves Uruk and begins a quest for Utnapishtim; the mortal man who withstood the great deluge and was granted immortality by the gods (Freeman 36)....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]

Research Papers
1509 words (4.3 pages)

Gilgamesh 's Quest For Immortality Essay

- The Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest surviving epic in history, reflected life as it was during the early Bronze Age. Many of the themes that the epic reveals are still valuable today in what it can teach us about how society was in the past. More importantly, Gilgamesh’s story teaches the reader how the lessons of his experience are significant to future generations. Such as, views on life and death and the search for knowledge and immortality. The search for immortality has plagued the minds of men and women for millenniums....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Immortality, Life, Sumer]

Research Papers
905 words (2.6 pages)

Search for Immortality Depicted in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey

- Through the many of mankind’s tales of adventure the search for immortality is a very common theme. Many heroes have made it the objective of their travels and adventures. This is no different in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey. The heroes in both are tempted by the offer of immortality, however each of them turns it down for their own reasons. In The Odyssey, Odysseus rejects the offer of immortality from the goddess Calypso long after he discovers the true nature of the afterlife after travelling to Hades....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey]

Research Papers
858 words (2.5 pages)

Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- The Search for Immortality In The Epic of Gilgamesh the main character, Gilgamesh, is searching for immortality. This want is brought about by deep feelings held by Gilgamesh for his dead friend Enkidu. From this, Gilgamesh finds himself being scared of dying. This fear pushes Gilgamesh to search for the power of immortal life, which is believed to be held only by women because of the fact that they can reproduce. This takes him on a long and tiresome journey to a land where no mortal has gone before....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Free Essays
725 words (2.1 pages)

The Epic Of Gilgamesh : The Quest For Immortality Essay

- The search for immortality seems to be an obsession for many men and women all throughout history. In the Epic of Gilgamesh a man investigates the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend, his brother Enkidu. That man, Gilgamesh, feeling the fear of the possibility of his own mortality which was before unrealized before the death of Enkidu, searches for a way to preserve himself. Is it truly that Gilgamesh searches for a physical immortality or more of a spiritual immortality....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Mesopotamia, Ishtar, Life]

Research Papers
823 words (2.4 pages)

Gilgamesh 's Quest For Immortality Essay

- In, Gilgamesh, the quest for immortality is important in order for Gilgamesh to cheat death, after his one and only best friend’s quick fatal fall to illness. Gilgamesh being two-thirds God and one-third human has many great obstacles to overcome, especially with the Gods. The search for immortality and overall self may be a great accomplishment for Gilgamesh to overcome. We face many quest today in order to obtain certain intangible objects such as love, friendship, and curiosity. However, there are quest for the tangible objects in life like looking for the perfect book, trying to find your car keys, or playing hide and seek....   [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Humbaba, Ishtar]

Research Papers
1671 words (4.8 pages)

Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

- Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality has been a major concern for many men and women all throughout history. True love and immortality in life would be a dream come true to many. To spend time with a special someone, the person one feels closest to, and never have to say good-bye would greatly appeal to most people. But when death steps into the picture, even with all the pain and devastation, one starts to re-evaluate themselves. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh explores the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend and brother, Enkidu....   [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh]

Research Papers
1379 words (3.9 pages)

Essay The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Ignorance of Gilgamesh

- In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh’s pursuit for immortality is marked by ignorance and selfish desire. Desire and ignorance, as The Buddha-karita of Asvaghosha suggests, pollutes man’s judgment resulting in his inability to break the cycle of birth and death. At the core of Gilgamesh’s desire resides his inability to accept the inevitability of death, making his rationality behind the pursuit of immortality ignorant and selfish. Implicitly, Gilgamesh’s corrupt desire for immortality conveys that Gilgamesh does not mature as a character....   [tags: Gilgamesh, Desire, Immortality]

Research Papers
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality

- Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality   The stories of the hunt for immortality gathered in the Epic of Gilgamesh depict the conflict felt in ancient Sumer. As urbanization swept Mesopotamia, the social status shifted from a nomadic hunting society to that of a static agricultural gathering society. In the midst of this ancient "renaissance", man found his relationship with the sacred uncertain and precarious. The Epic portrays the strife created between ontological nostalgia for a simpler time and the dawn of civilization breaking in the Near East....   [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]

Research Papers
1044 words (3 pages)

Related Searches

The epic clearly expresses  the high value placed on family and children. Gilgamesh wanted to enjoy immortality with his friend and he eventually achieved his goal. Thousands of years after the death of Gilgamesh he and Enkidu continue to live through the story of their adventures which have been passed down through time - keeping the two friends in an immortal state for as long as the story is told.

            Gilgamesh in trying to achieve immortality to secure a long life for himself at first. The death of Enkidu shakes Gilgamesh to his core. All of the sudden Gilgamesh has a serious situation on his hands. But does he really want to be immortal? Perhaps before the loss of his friend he might have had no problem with that at all, but now it seems that it is a different story.

            Gilgamesh travels the land killing animals and wearing their skins, similar to his brother Enkidu before he came to Uruk. Then he travels to a great mountain were a passage to a garden of the gods is located. Here he meets the man-scorpion who is guarding the passage. Then he passes through a great darkness, to the great garden were he meets several people who all tell him he will not find immortality. A young women tells him were his father is and he tries to get to him via the boatman and the ocean. Gilgamesh reaches his father and after all was said and done the one thing that he came away with was that his father was very lonely even though he is immortal.

            After leaving that place with the boatman Gilgamesh is told a secret by Utnapishtim the Faraway's wife that their is a place were the flower of Immortality is located and that it can restore his youth and the youth of others. Gilgamesh gets the flower and leaves for home with the boatman, but along the way a serpent in the pool steals the flower and it is lost. An interesting symbol of evil similar to the bible is the snake or the serpent. They return to Uruk and shortly after Gilgamesh dies, but his wife and son go on. The legacy continues and Gilgamesh truly attains immortality in the stories of ancient Mesopotamia.

            So it seems that there is a moral in this ancient tale that the ideals of Uruk at the time was not to worry about your afterlife, but to focus on the time with your family and friends. The focus is on the present and the road to immortality is in the memories of your friends and loved ones.
Return to 123HelpMe.com