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Dreams In Gilphash And Enkidu's The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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The great Babylonian tale The Epic of Gilgamesh is about Gilgamesh, the tyrannical king of Uruk, who comes to understand his mortality through a series of trials and tribulations. Though he is well aware of the fact that “only the gods live for ever” (Gilgamesh 71), he stops at nothing to defy his destiny as a mortal being. While the Mesopotamian gods use a system of signs and symbolic patterns to control the happenings in the living world, humans exist only to serve them and carry out their will. The Epic of Gilgamesh proves this to be true. I will argue that in The Epic, Gilgamesh and Enkidu both share a dependency on the divine agencies. As their dreams and journeys are driven by external forces, we see the two heroes struggle to understand and accept the nature of the human condition.
In the ancient world, dreams were not seen as prophecies, but more as premonitions. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Mesopotamian gods convey their will to Gilgamesh and Enkidu through their dreams. Their dreams are driven by external forces that allude to their destinies. Before the heroes embark upon their journey to the Cedar Forest, the “god[s] had [already] decreed the destiny of Gilgamesh” (70) to him in a dream. The dream is deciphered by Enkidu, who tells his friend that “the father of the gods has given [him] kingship, such is [Gilgamesh’s] destiny, everlasting life is not” (70). Despite his “unexampled supremacy over the people” (70), the king of Uruk is dissatisfied. As Gilgamesh
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