A Hero in the Epic of Gilgamesh and The Novel Monkey

1858 WordsJul 17, 20188 Pages
Hero is a word that is commonplace in our society. We seem to always be able to turn on the latest news story and find the newest local man who saved that beautiful kitten from that building that was burning down. When we say hero a vast array of different definitions come to people’s minds. Our definition of hero in our world is most definitely not a constant. In the Epic of Gilgamesh and the novel Monkey many would consider the main characters and their strongest companions nothing close to heroes but rather tyrants. I have to say that these people have defined hero too narrowly, and I must prove them of their folly. Monkey and Gilgamesh, despite the many sins they commit, highlight what it truly means to be a hero, reminding us…show more content…
Gilgamesh perceived himself as the greatest being to ever walk the earth. All the people of Uruk were blessed to even look upon him. He thought of himself as a god, and the people did as well. This is proven with this section of the book “Gilgamesh the tall, magnificent and terrible, who opened passes in the mountains, who dug wells on the slopes of the uplands, and crossed the ocean, the wide sea to the sunrise;” (2). Gilgamesh was definitely looked up to by his people. They obeyed his every command no matter how degrading it may be. The city of Uruk paid heed to him with good reason though. Gilgamesh committed incredible actions that make him clearly stand out among the average man. He was well known among the gods who spoke of him frequently. He would even speak to them himself at some points. “Said Gilgamesh to him, to the hero Shamash: ‘After roaming, wandering all through the wild, when I enter the Netherworld will rest be scarce? I shall lie there sleeping all down the years!” (71). He spent a large portion of his life attempting to achieve immortality. He also slew a nature divinity, Humbaba, “Gilgamesh smote him in the neck, his friend Enkidu gave encouragement. He … he fell, the ravines did run with his blood. Humbaba the guardian he smote to the ground” (46). Gilgamesh committed many commonly perceived sins in his lifetime. He truly enjoyed his everyday decadence. Gilgamesh puts on airs every second of

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