The Epic Of Gilgamesh : King Of Uruk

Decent Essays

In the verse narrative The Epic of Gilgamesh the principal character Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, is described as an entity that is two-thirds god and one-third man. Gilgamesh is a hero/protagonist who exhibits many more human features than divine features. This makes him a flawed hero because all humans are flawed. He is even described in human terms. “A perfect physical specimen, gifted athlete and sex machine” [Davis p.154]. His primary flaws are pride and arrogance with his pursuit for immortality being more of a human search than something that a god would desire. He is the “model for many successive flawed heroes, Gilgamesh is the man who seemingly has it all but sets off on a series of quests seeking to become more noble, or …show more content…

“The flood of the Gilgamesh legend is the same as the one mentioned in the Bible and Uta-napashtim is the equivalent of Noah and his Ark” [Hunt p.60]. While Gilgamesh exhibits his human characteristics throughout the epic, the fact that nature controls part of his destiny takes away his ability to control his future and makes him similar to all other humans. “So did the biblical authors ‘sample’ these Mesopotamian stories (cataclysmic flood)? The many parallels are too striking to ignore” [Davis p.158]. The Epic of Gilgamesh is similar to many bible stories and Aesop’s Fables where an individual with weaknesses and imperfections goes on an adventure or journey. During that journey the individual encounters a number of problems and confronts them the best that he can. In doing so he learns a lesson and is a better person for it similar to the morals found in each of Aesop’s Fables. “His great quest has been a failure but the end of the story finds Gilgamesh at peace with himself and his surroundings” [Hunt p. 61]. At the beginning of the epic Gilgamesh is seen as a leader to be feared and displays behaviors that are more like a human as opposed to the behavior of a god. Gilgamesh did not display any amount of empathy as the ruler of Uruk. He did what he pleased on a human level including making people into slaves, forcing women to have sex with him against their will and stealing food and

Get Access