Essay on The Theme of Knowledge in Gilgamesh and Genesis

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Ancient world literature and early civilization stories are mostly centered on human’s relationship with higher beings. Ancient civilizations were extremely religious, holding the belief that their very lives were in the hands of their almighty god or goddess. This holds true for both the people of biblical times as well as those of the epic era. However, their stories have some differences according to cultural variation but the main structure, ideas, and themes are generally found correlative. It is hard to believe that one work did not affect the others. The first great heroic epic poem of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament are parts of two cultures that are hundreds of years apart. Whereas Gilgamesh is a myth and the book of Genesis is …show more content…

The divine blesses the righteous and punishes the evil man to remind their limitation and worship to the God.

In the Book of Genesis, the idea of knowledge emerges throughout punishment. This theme is most apparent when Adam and Eve deceive God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When they do this, they are immediately given the ability to discern between right and wrong. The Old Testament states, "The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining knowledge" (Genesis 3:6). Promptly Adam and Eve gain knowledge and realize their nakedness as punishment from God. Likewise in Gilgamesh, Enkidu, was a wild man before he was seduced by a harlot from Uruk. After his encounter with harlot he notices his abilities have been greatly suppressed. "Enkidu was grown weak," the narrator tells us, "for wisdom was in him, and the thoughts of a man were in his heart." The woman says to him, "You are wise, Enkidu, and now you have become like a god. Why do you want to run wild with the beasts in the hills?" She tells him about "strong-walled Uruk" and "the blessed temple of Ishtar and of Anu, of love and of heaven," and about Gilgamesh himself. (Gilgamesh page 15). This suppression is from the gods for his acquisition of knowledge. Both Eve's nakedness and Enkidu's loss of strength demonstrate the gods' propensity to punish by

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