Gilgamesh completed a dangerous journey that risked his own life in order to gain knowledge. Throughout his journey, many dangerous events took place that could have taken his life. In the end, he discovered that he could not find immortality, and he had to accept the idea of death. I would not make such a journey, even if it held the possibility of answering my most important questions. As a believer in Christ, I do not feel like it is necessary to risk my life on a journey in order to answer questions.
I can say that my opinion of heroism has changed. I used to believe there was only one cut and dry mold of what a hero should be like, but now I see there is room for other point of views. Before reading all of these stories I would have said that a hero must be strong and smart and not afraid to take on any challenge like Gilgamesh from unit one. When I thought of hero I immediately think of superhero like Superman. He is handsome and strong like Gilgamesh, but Superman is also different.
In the novel, The Epic of Gilgamesh, one question that wanders though every reader’s mind is whether of not Gilgamesh is a hero? Through the course of the story, Gilgamesh commits some outlandish actions towards the citizens of his city, whom he is supposed to protect. But as the story progresses, Gilgamesh’s true identity is uncovered, and the traits that a hero possesses begin to show. A hero is someone who is noted for courageous acts or nobility of character. Many readers believe that Gilgamesh should not be able to hold the title of a hero, or the role of a king from the characters of the novel’s viewpoint, due to the immoral actions that he has committed, but this just means that he is an unusual hero.
After years of putting my research together, I’m ready to share it with the people. As you know, I invented time travel and used it to go back to the Assyrian empire. I decided on January 1st 12:01 that I needed to do something with my life. I had studied Mesopotamia for years and I knew my knowledge couldn’t be used any better way.
A Hero’s Quest for Immortality Gilgamesh, just like any other heroes, receives a vision from the gods pertaining to his fate, “The father of the gods has given you kingship, such is your destiny, everlasting life is not your destiny.” It makes no sense at first but as the story progress, we found out that Gilgamesh was never meant to live eternal life. The quest for immortality is a common theme in mythologies. Heroes undergo challenges against gods and supernatural creatures in order to get the desired item that would restore one’s youth.
After losing the plant of eternal life, Gilgamesh returns to his kingdom of Uruk. There, Gilgamesh looks over his empire, and is astonished at what he sees. He, “looked at the walls, awed at the heights his people had achieved” (92). Gilgamesh, once believing he was almighty, becomes a greater man and leader through
You have toiled without cease, and what have you got! Through toil you wear yourself out, you fill your body with grief, your long lifetime you are bringing near(to a premature end)!... No one can see death, no one can see the face of death, no one can hear the voice of death, yet there is a savage death that snaps off mankind.” (Tab.X, PG. 25) Utnapishtim attempts to speak knowledge into Gilgamesh about rebirth and how he cannot escape death.
The theme I chose from the Epic of Gilgamesh is immortality, and the corresponding passage is Tablet XI. Because Tablet XI represents a crucial turning point in Gilgamesh's desire for eternal life, the theme of immortality integrates with the overarching idea of the Epic of Gilgamesh that presents immortality as a desired but impractical ideal. Gilgamesh started on a quest to discover the key to eternal life following the demise of his close companion Enkidu. Gilgamesh traveled to meet the immortal Utnapishtim, who was granted immortality by the gods as a reward for surviving a great flood. According to Utnapishtim, immortality is a gift from god, not something that could be sought after or acquired.
Human beings all have one thing in common- we die, we are “thanatoi”; the dying ones. It is a beautiful concept that unites all of humanity, yet it also engenders the questions- why are we all condemned to die? What are we all dying for? Many people need no further elaboration on the topic of death, other than that it is mankind’s fate to die. However, ancient scholars like Homer, and Sophocles capitalized on their need for answers.
Literary devices are used to bridge the gaps and fill in the cracks for me where simple words do not suffice in some stories. I find myself constantly searching stories for and identifying different types of literary devices. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, three uses of literary devices were demonstrated and used consistently. These literary devices are: repetition, imagery and flashbacks. This literary narrative is centered on an epic journey that utilizes literary devices to enhance the complexity and understanding in the story.
Yet it holds the same human experiences, same human emotions, and same human ambitions. It holds the same sentiments we hold dear today, such as life and friendship in utmost importance. It speaks of human ambition to be remembered and to live forever, that can be found even up to this day. Gilgamesh attributed his immortality with enduring monuments, such as the city of Uruk, modern day individuals, in the same manner, attribute their immortality with the name they made for themselves. The truth of society, how nature works, and how human beings relate with each other, and how man’s actions can influence other things, are greatly intertwined.
In comparison, it’s always observed on how different scholars find the similarity of especially marital settings, characters, and as well as the wanderings of the mythological world. Different events within the life of these characters cover broadly a huge range of epic encounters that are heroic. The character, emotional and psychological development of Gilgamesh can be borrowed especially from the ancient heroic perspectives of mortality and death while comparing with Achilles. Mesopotamian civilization has had several phases in which hero Gilgamesh has been in existence, however having similar attributes. One of the earliest stories of Gilgamesh is developed from Sumerian texts, one of the most influential and well-known poems (Michelakis & Pantelis 2007).
Yet, after Enkidu passed away, Gilgamesh becomes so distraught, he becomes obsessed and fearful of death, and seeks the secret to immortality from there on. It is only after he learns the story of the flood from Utnapishtim, the epiphany that he becomes his most noble and wise self. Finally, he accepts his mortality on his way back to Uruk with the boatman alongside him: “O Ur-shanabi, climb Uruk’s wall and walk back and forth! Survey its foundations, examine the brickwork... A square mile is city, a square mile date-grove, a square mile is clay-pit, half a square mile the temple of Ishtar: three square miles and a half is Uruk’s expanse.”
David Ferry, in his translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh explores the idea of change and how it affects people. Gilgamesh faces many challenges such as having to fight the Bull of Heaven, defeating Huwawa, suffering through his own friend’s death, and then eventually facing the ultimate test of seeking immortality. Through these journeys, Gilgamesh meets many new people, including himself. Interactions between people often teach one new lessons they would not have otherwise learned if they had not made those encounters before. Even before this, Utnapishtim offers Gilgamesh any reward he wants for making the long and perilous journey for immortality.
Gilgamesh is an epic that has been passed down for thousands of years. The epic narrates the legendary deeds of the main character Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is two-thirds immortal and one-third mortal; however, he cannot accept his fate that one day he too will die. The entire epic tells the story of Gilgamesh’s life and searche for immortality. Through his many trials and tribulations, Gilgamesh proves that he has great physical strength.