Imagery and Themes in the Epic of Gilgamesh

1139 Words5 Pages
Historical Context - Imagery and Themes Rosenberg notes that Gilgamesh is probably the world's first human hero in literature (27). The Epic of Gilgamesh is based on the life of a probably real Sumerian king named Gilgamesh, who ruled about 2600 B.C.E. We learned of the Gilgamesh myth when several clay tablets written in cuneiform were discovered beginning in 1845 during the excavation of Nineveh (26). We get our most complete version of Gilgamesh from the hands of an Akkadian priest, Sin-liqui-unninni. It is unknown how much of the tale is the invention of Sin-liqui-unninni, and how much is the original tale. The flood story, which appears in the Sin-liqui-unninni version, is probably based on an actual flood that occurred in…show more content…
They included the noble, the commoner, the client, and the slave (37). Women were allowed to own property and do business. Men enjoyed the ability to divorce or take a second wife in the event that the first wife was unable to bear children. Children appear to have been viewed as the property of the parent and without rights (38). The time of economic prosperity that the agricultural gains provided allowed inventions to become more important. The inventions helped society advance further. One of the most important inventions at this time was animal husbandry (39). There are also indications that the people believed in an afterlife. The tombs which were excavated in recent times contained earthly riches such as beads, earrings and knives which would have been useful to the deceased (42). Between 4500 and 2500 BC, there was a period of expansion and growth in the economy and political environment of the Sumerians. Intellectualism and artistry flourished as a result (Mallowan 98-106). Kings who gained enough power and wealth conquered weaker city-states and burned or destroyed cities. These cities were later rebuilt as each one was destroyed (Swisher 45-46). The perception of their natural surroundings were similar to that of the Greeks. It was believed that the earth was a disk surrounded by mountains which held up the sky. The sky was a dome that was filled with air. Under the disk was the

More about Imagery and Themes in the Epic of Gilgamesh

Open Document