Lessons Learned From the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

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The Epic of Gilgamesh, a Mesopotamian epic poem with no known author, is the story of the brute King of Uruk, Gilgamesh, who was two-thirds divine and one-third human, which teaches readers the unstoppable force of death, the wrath of the gods, and also the power of friendship, which are illustrated to readers through the characters journeys, and those encountered along the way. The poem, which is divided into twelve tablets, starts off with Gilgamesh being a vicious tyrant, one who “would leave no son to his father… no girl to her mother”(Gilgamesh 101), and as for newly married couples “was to join with the girl that night”(Gilgamesh 109) transitions to by the end of the story an entirely new man.

One of the main
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Gilgamesh then goes on a fifty-five line long rant, just absolutely trashing Ishtar for her advances. Ishtar then runs to her father, who just so happens to be Anu, to request the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilgamesh. At first, Anu says that she provoked the king to say such things, but when Ishtar says she will raise the dead, the god agrees to her request. Yet again, Anu must show his wrath. The Bull of Heaven is released onto Uruk, but together, Gilgamesh and Enkidu are able to defeat it and save the city. Enkidu throws part of the bull’s body at Ishtar, and Gilgamesh hangs its massive horns in his bedroom, which of course only further angered Ishtar. After a night of celebration, Enkidu has a dream in which the gods say that he must die. Another example of the wrath of the gods, Enkidu falls ill and dies after twelve days. Hoping to discover how he himself can avoid the fate of his comrade, Gilgamesh goes on a journey to find Utnapishtim, a man who survived a great flood and was granted eternal life by the gods. When Gilgamesh finds him, Utnapishtim tells him the story of the flood he experienced, which was sent from the gods for no other reason than they were angry. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, the wrath of the gods is provoked for many reasons, whether it is to teach a lesson, or the gods are simply angry. Either way, the wrath of the gods is present in this poem.

Another theme that is also present in The Epic of Gilgamesh is the
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