Epic of Gilgamesh Theme

1707 WordsJul 27, 20127 Pages
Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Love As a Motivating Force Love, both erotic and platonic, motivates change in Gilgamesh. Enkidu changes from a wild man into a noble one because of Gilgamesh, and their friendship changes Gilgamesh from a bully and a tyrant into an exemplary king and hero. Because they are evenly matched, Enkidu puts a check on Gilgamesh’s restless, powerful energies, and Gilgamesh pulls Enkidu out of his self-centeredness. Gilgamesh’s connection to Enkidu makes it possible for Gilgamesh to identify with his people’s interests. The love the friends have for each other makes Gilgamesh a better man in the first half of the epic, and when Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh’s…show more content…
As the god of wisdom and crafts, Ea is responsible for human attributes including cleverness, inventiveness, and creativity, which enable people to survive independently. Ishtar, too, while a fickle friend, presides over sexual desire, fertility, nurturance, agriculture, and domesticity, which ensure humankind’s future. For the Mesopotamians, piety and respect for the gods are not true moral obligations. Rather, piety and respect suggest a practical acknowledgment of nature’s power and serve to remind humans of their place in the larger scheme of things. Motifs Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes. Seductions There are two important seductions in Gilgamesh, one successful and one a failure. When the temple prostitute seduces Enkidu, he loses his animal attributes but gains his self-consciousness and his humanity. In contemporary western society, people often view human sexuality as base and lewd and may be more accustomed to a reversal of roles—with Enkidu seducing a woman, instead of a woman seducing him. Furthermore, Christianity encourages its followers to transcend their bodies and to store up treasures in heaven. Sex played a much different role in the Mesopotamian worldview. The notion of sublimation was entirely foreign to the

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