Job and Gilgamesh: a Comparison of Inevitable Suffering

1041 Words Oct 2nd, 2012 5 Pages
Job and Gilgamesh: A Comparison of Inevitable Suffering
It has been said that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. But is it? When looking at extraordinary pieces of literature such as the biblical Book of Job and the Epic of Gilgamesh, describing such physical and emotional pain and the mental and spiritual suffering that the main characters endured, it tells us that their suffering was just as inevitable as their pain. However, the two men dealt very differently with the tragedies lived and their consequences; and that made all the difference in their trajectory. What differentiated their suffering was the simple fact of being able to accept their humanity. In a world controlled by gods and goddesses, humans, regardless of
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He did not try to blame his suffering on anything else but God, not even on himself. Instead of attempting to justify his existence through this own merits, he knew who he was and admitted to the fact that there was nothing he could do except give in to his belief that a greater power controlled his destiny.
In his quest for immortality to change his unavoidable destiny, Gilgamesh tried to secure a way to preserve his life in order to avoid suffering because his belief was flawed, while Job secured his life in his belief. He was not afraid of death or of his God, neither did he wish to become one, he just wanted his suffering to be ended by the one whom he believed brought it upon him in the first place. Gilgamesh, on the other hand, sought his own ways to end his suffering and to avoid future sorrow that comes with being human, even though he knew that there was a higher plan that ruled that everlasting life was not his destiny. In contrast, Job was not aware that there was a higher plan that endorsed his agony or the reasons for it. All he had was his faith and integrity, which he held on to despite the undeserved affliction he received through the very hands of the one he expected to redeem him, to later discover that he would. Gilgamesh, in his restless heart, hoped the redemption for his self-inflicted suffering would come from his personal sacrifices, only to find out that it could not.
Before long, both…