Exploring Human Nature in The Epic of Gilgamesh and Samuel I

1034 WordsJun 17, 20185 Pages
Examining the nature of humanity and the reason for being has always been a topic of interest that transcends time, gender, age and culture. All literature in existence examines human nature or human interaction or interpretation with non-human things. The one thing we can know for certain is that life is not eternal: we all die. Despite this, each of us have a predisposition to survive and we go to extreme lengths to do so, such as by acquiring mass amounts of power in which to rule over other humans, ensuring a ruler’s survival. We fear what we know is inevitable, so we use the threats of power, including that of ‘higher powers’, to frighten people into believing that they shall face a terrible consequence if they threaten the survival…show more content…
The epic concludes with Enkidu’s death and Gilgamesh flatly accepting the fact that he has lost immortality, and thus eternal power, demonstrating that the Gods are the ultimate source of power and mortals should not attempt to attain such power. The same message is found across the Christian Bible: humankind cannot rule itself. With particular focus on Samuel 1, this essay addresses the correlation between the two literary workings and their connection with human desire to conquer all. Samuel 1 begins with an infertile woman, Hannah, who prays to God to send her a child. Because she is a follower of God and his rules, he gives her the ability to birth a child. It is believed that the Christian God rewards his followers but punishes and destroys those against him. Hannah gives birth to a boy, Samuel, and promises to raise him in subservience to God. She sends him to live at the temple with Eli, a priest, and his sons. Samuel grows to be a follower of God, but Eli’s sons become corrupt. At the time, being a religious leader brought power, fame and wealth. Eli was aware of the corruption within his sons, yet he refused to acknowledge it much as it may have interfered with his position of power. Not wanting to jeprodize his position of power, Eli did not intervene and God saw this as a lack of fear and respect, creating a

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