Gilgamesh sets out on his journey for immortality, leaving his kingdom and people behind to fend for themselves. He starts to become self-seeking just as he had before. He spends every waking moment searching for immortality only to benefit himself. The whole purpose of the journey itself is so that Gilgamesh can gain immortality for himself and be remembered forever. He doesn’t realize that his people are off on there own with no king to control the empire. Even when
In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh’s pursuit for immortality is marked by ignorance and selfish desire. Desire and ignorance, as The Buddha-karita of Asvaghosha suggests, pollutes man’s judgment resulting in his inability to break the cycle of birth and death. At the core of Gilgamesh’s desire resides his inability to accept the inevitability of death, making his rationality behind the pursuit of immortality ignorant and selfish. Implicitly, Gilgamesh’s corrupt desire for immortality conveys that Gilgamesh does not mature as a character.
Abusch perceives Gilgamesh to be a man, hero, king and god who acts in a manner that accords limits and responsibility imposed upon him by his society. Abusch illustrates that: “Gilgamesh is aggressive and courageous, even impetuous, and he shows little or no concern for his own safety and focuses all of his energy upon battle, obligation, honor, and victory” (3). The author explains that even with the greatest power and achievements there is no humanly possible power that is able to withstand death. Abusch’s analysis talks about Gilgamesh coming to terms with his nature and learns about death. The main conflict in the article is between Gilgamesh being an epic hero and his ability to obtain moral growth. Gilgamesh exists in
Gilgamesh, on the other hand, is not so lucky. His weakness is something that he cannot escape. Since Gilgamesh is part human, death is an inevitable fact of life. Gilgamesh’s fate is first foreseen when he has a dream about a wild man Enkidu. Gilgamesh tells his mother,” Stars of the sky appeared, and some kind of meteorite of Anu fell next to me. I tried to lift it but it was too mighty for me, I tried to turn it but I could not budge it. – I loved it and embraced it as a wife. I laid it down at your feet, and you made it compete with me. (220-231)” Gilgamesh learns his destiny is to love Enkidu, but the gods create Enkidu to destroy Gilgamesh. When the goddess of love sends the bull of heaven to kill Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh and Enkidu defeat the bull, but the gods are not happy. As punishment, they speak the curse of death upon Enkidu. Heart-broken
The maturation of Gilgamesh and his desire to acquire wisdom throughout his journey is quite apparent. By overcoming difficulties such as upholding Uruk, becoming friends with Enkidu, and various other scenarios, Gilgamesh proves that he did in fact grow up throughout the epic.
(Gilgamesh 71)” Gilgamesh's grief for his friend was natural, but he shouldn't have abandoned his people and his royal duties. As ruler, his people have to follow his decree, and need his support to thrive. By forcing them to grief, and abandoning his position, he left them in a very vulnerable position. His last and final abandonment of his people began with Gilgamesh's quest for immortality. He was so upset and shocked by what occurred to Enkidu's body after death, that he vowed he would never die. His selfishness has grown so far, that when he finds his cure for mortality, he chooses to let an old man test the plant in case it brings death instead. “I will bring it to Uruk-Haven, and have an old man eat the plant to test it. The plant's name is “The Old Man Becomes a Young Man.” Then I will eat it and return to the condition of my youth. (Gilgamesh 106)” Gilgamesh was a powerful man with a lot of ambition, and potential. It was just ruined by his selfish nature. He was, all-in-all, a famous and great ruler... but not a just one.
Perhaps one of the main reasons the Epic of Gilgamesh is so popular and has lasted such a long time, is because it offers insight into the human concerns of people four thousand years ago, many of which are still relevant today. Some of these human concerns found in the book that are still applicable today include: the fear and concerns people have in relation to death, overwhelming desires to be immortal, and the impact a friendship has on a person’s life. It does not take a great deal of insight into The Epic of Gilgamesh for a person to locate these themes in the story, and even less introspection to relate to them.
There once lived a king, the great king of Uruk in Mesopotamia. This great leader was Gilgamesh. His preserved epic is of great significance to modern day culture. Through Gilgamesh, the fate of mankind is revealed, and the inevitable factor of change is expressed. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, it is a great love, followed by a lingering grief that cause a significant change in the character of Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh was devastated by Enkidu's death. The immense grief and excruciating pain and also fear for death, that it caused to him had made him eager to seek immortality. Gilgamesh met Siduri in a very delicate state of mind. He had just witnessed the death of his soul brother and only friend. Life had brought him to a stage where he could gain some humanity and get rid of his selfish, arrogant attitude. He met Siduri by coincidence. Siduri came as a gift, which made him familiar with the simple ways of leading life. Her small words meant a lot that taught a lot about life. Gilgamesh was an arrogant ruler with no humanly feelings of love and compassion. Having lost Enkidu, his only friend, had stirred mixed feeling in his soul. On the one hand he felt grieved about Enkidu's death but on the other hand he was going against the rule of nature. The fear for death made him feel that he was strong and powerful. So he would not want to die ever. And so he set out in search of Utnapishtim. Siduri tried to put light on him important aspects of life in that human life is ordained by God and that humans do not have a control over their own lives. She says to him" Remember always, mighty king, that Gods decreed the fates of all many years ago. They alone are to be eternal, while we frail humans die as you yourself must someday too." (Gilgamesh, tablet 10, column 3, lines88-91, p.51) She explains
Further analysis of the poem The Epic of Gilgamesh, described the characteristic of king Gilgamesh from the beginning, middle, and end. Throughout the poem, there are immature and petrified moments of Gilgamesh, but more importantly he learned to grow as he explore his journey. Friendship, love, and fear appears to be essential in this poem. Why are those terms relevant ? and how does it connect with the trait of Gilgamesh ?, let’s continue to find out the truth about Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh fear of death is completely understandable. From the beginning of the story it shows how much power the Gods had over the people. Their main interest was the people having the Kings in higher power. “This was important for the traditional beliefs was that the gods had supplied all that was needed for humans to flourish, cities agriculture, the arts of civilization at the outset of human history, in the antediluvian age.”- george xlvi. The Gods had positive interest in the people but established a right and wrong way for the people to live. Gilgamesh never payed attention to any of this in the beginning. As a King he had a lot of confidence in himself to conquer and change everything around him. Which is what he was mostly known for. Throughout the story he realizes there is one thing he can't change which was one of the saddest point in the story. Death was his greatest burden. Gilgamesh arrogance brought to the brink of self cruelty trying to defy the ways of living the Gods set in place for humans. While reading this story I myself started to understand the main point in the story. We as humans have a choice to either stay in a certain circle for life or wonder the world to see what fits our interest and needs the most. As we find these amazing addition to our being there is one thing we can't fight and that is death. It is bound to happen which brings me to my next point.
Georgia Perimeter College Epic of Gilgamesh Jung M Gu World Literature 129 Liam Madden 12/2/2016 Jung Gu Professor Liam Madden World Literature 11/30/16 The Epic of Gilgamesh The story about Gilgamesh is one of the earliest pieces of world literature dating back to the second millennium B.C.E. This story has been evolved gradually over a long span of a millennium, and has been enjoyed by many nations. The Epic of Gilgamesh teaches life lessons that apply to the past and present while revolving around the question of what it means to be human, and to experience the phenomenon of friendship, love, and death.
Analysis of the Epic of Gilgamesh The epic of Gilgamesh is the earliest primary document discovered in human history dating back to approximately 2,000 B.C.E. This document tells a story of an ancient King Gilgamesh, ruler of Sumer in 2,700 B.C.E. who is created gloriously by gods as one third man and two third god. In this epic, Gilgamesh begins his kingship as an audacious and immature ruler. Exhausted from complaints, the gods send a wild man named Enkidu to become civilized and assist Gilgamesh to mature into a righteous leader. However, Enkidus death causes Gilgamesh to realize his fear of immortality and search for an escape from death. On his journey, Gilgamesh learns that the gods will not grant his wish and that he must
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the greatest surviving epic poem from Ancient Mesopotamia. The original author is unknown, since the epic was passed on orally for many generations during the second millennium B.C.E before being written down in clay tablets. However, the definitive fragmented revision of the epic is accredited to Sin-leqi-unninni, a Babylonian priest and scholar. The Epic of Gilgamesh follows Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality, remarking the question of what it means to be human. The story starts with King Gilgamesh of Uruk in Southern Mesopotamia, an arrogant and oppressive ruler who is two thirds divine and one third human. The citizens of Uruk, tired of Gilgamesh’s behavior, plead the Gods to stop him. In response, the Gods fabricate Enkidu to confront Gilgamesh, but before he does that, he needs to become civilized first. In the act of turning into a civilized man, Enkidu, like all human beings, loses his innocence, as well as his deep connection with nature.
With the death of his dearest friend Enkidu, Gilgamesh now begins to actually fear death and begins searching for the one man that was made immortal by the gods to ask him how to overcome death. In Gilgamesh’s own words, the death of his friend Enkidu has shaken him to the core. When speaking of his death he says “Enkidu, whom I so loved, who went with me through every hardship. The fate of mankind has overtaken him. Six days and seven nights I wept for him…I was frightened..I have grown afraid of death, so I roam the steppe, my friend’s case weighs heavy upon me..my friend whom I loved is turned into clay…Shall I too not lie down like him, and never get up forever and ever?” (pg. 78) Where before Gilgamesh wanted immortality so that he could continue a life of fame and