Shadow Of Death In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

1998 Words8 Pages
A Walk Through the Shadow of Death The french philosopher Michel de Montaigne once said, “We trouble our life by thoughts about death, and our death by thoughts of life.” The fear of death and the urgency to create meaning in life are deeply ingrained in the human psyche. We know from birth that no man shall escape from his mortal coil. Yet still, when standing at the edge of oblivion, we falter. N.K. Sanders’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh follows the eponymous king in his quest for immortality. Before he sets forth on his adventure, he witnesses his closest friend perish before his very eyes. The fear of death struck the mighty king’s armor of courage and pride thus igniting his search for everlasting life. The primary objective for Gilgamesh is to meet Utnapishtim in order to learn the secret of cheating death. However, the great warrior instead learns to accept that he will one day leave this world. Ultimately, the hero learns that there is little reason to preoccupy ourselves with thoughts of death when we can instead live our lives to their fullest potentials. The Epic of Gilgamesh explores the effects life and mortality have on humans, addressing concepts such as the fear of death, coming to terms with our own mortality, and living a fulfilled life.
Death is the unpleasant truth that plagues men without regards to their stature or bravery. If one were to fail in accepting the inevitable, it may have two effects on the human psyche: regret and/or fear. At the
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