Essay On The Value Of Life In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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The Value of Life Within the Epic of Gilgamesh, Benjamin Foster tells an ancient Mesopotamian tale of a king who learns a great lesson through tragedy. While seeking immortality to retain his great strength and power, Gilgamesh learns that even he, the great Gilgamesh, cannot obtain immortality and loses a beloved friend along the way. Gilgamesh and his dear friend Enkidu embark on many successful adventures. However, as successful as their adventures are, they lead to the death of Enkidu. The loss of Enkidu forces Gilgamesh to the realization that he too will one day die. The Epic of Gilgamesh suggests that death is inevitable despite one’s social and economic status, ultimately resulting in Gilgamesh as a changed man and ruler. When Gilgamesh discovers that status and success cannot establish one’s fate, readers also become aware of the same realization. The realization of mortality can be both a lesson and a warning of pursuing life for what it is and enjoying those around you, rather than pursing power and fortune. Current social class systems would say otherwise, suggesting that fame and fortune does result in a happy life. However, when we apply the lesson Gilgamesh experiences, readers can see…show more content…
“Trust not Gilgamesh in your own strength” (Foster 53). This advice can correspond with warnings given to those who believe that the life they lead is sustainable and without consequence. It is important to note that it is not a bad thing to obtain success and fortune, however, it is bad when such lifestyles lead one to neglect the reality of their existence. Unfortunately, sometimes one must experience great loss before coming to such realizations, such as the case of Gilgamesh. “Enkidu, whom I so loved, who went with me through every hardship, the fate of mankind has overtaken him” (Foster

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