Essay Comparing The Epic Of Gilgamesh And The Great Flood

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Assessing The Similarities of Ancient Flood Stories The story of a great flood is a classic archetype that occurs throughout various cultures and religions. Whilst many are comparable, few are so closely related and frequently scrutinized as “The Great Flood” of The Bible and the flood story occurring within the text of The Epic Of Gilgamesh. While there are a myriad of similarities that aliken the two texts to each other, there are also several differences that provide a stark contrast between the texts, and consequently the two cultures from which the stories originate. One of the most glaring differences between the flood story of The Epic Of Gilgamesh and The Bible actually occurs within one of their similarities. While both floods were created with same ultimate goal in mind, the motive behind God and the gods purging the earth of humanity varies greatly. In Genesis 6:13, God says to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all…show more content…
Gilgamesh’s ultimate goal is to achieve immortality, and this is granted to him near the end of the epic by the gods. Although more subtle and often overlooked, the topic of immortality is alluded to in the Hebrew text of Genesis. In chapter six, verse thirteen, God says to Noah, “I see that the end of all mortals has come,” thus alluding to the possibility of Noah being immortal. While this is proven to be false by his eventual death, Noah lives to be nine hundred and fifty years old. Also varying between the two stories is the length of the storms themselves. In The Bible, it is said that the rains last for forty days and forty nights, as opposed to the six days and nights experienced by Gilgamesh. One occurrence that appears in both texts is the main character releasing a bird in order to ascertain the presence of hospitable land. However, Gilgamesh releases a dove to achieve this, while Noah first sends a raven, then a dove to find useful
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