Gilgamesh Archetypal Hero Essay

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Gilgamesh as an Archetypal Hero Archetypal heroes often play an important role in literature. These heroes exemplify rare qualities that make them different from other characters. Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, obtains unique characteristics that make him an example of an archetypal hero in The Epic of Gilgamesh. Some characteristics of an archetypal hero are to be charged with a quest, possess supernatural abilities, and to be accompanied by a mythical creature or helper. Gilgamesh displays all three of these qualities because he goes on a quest for immortality, he was created part god and part human, and he is assisted by a mythical creature named Enkidu throughout the story. To begin, one of the qualities of an archetypal hero is to go on a quest which Gilgamesh does in “The Search for Everlasting Life.” When Gilgamesh’s second self, Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh realizes his fate. His fear of death encourages him to take on a journey. Gilgamesh proves that he possesses this quality by…show more content…
The text states “When the people of Uruk complain about Gilgamesh's arrogance, the goddess Aruru creates Enkidu to contend with the king and absorb his energies”(10). Enkidu becomes Gilgamesh’s helper and loyal sidekick throughout the story. Enkidu is a mythical being and companion to Gilgamesh. Without Enkidu’s presence throughout the story, there would be less evidence to classify Gilgamesh as an archetypal hero.
Give these points; it is clear that Gilgamesh exemplifies the qualities of an archetypal hero in The Epic of Gilgamesh. Characteristics such as going on a quest for immortality, having rare abilities including being part god, and having a mythical sidekick such as Enkidu make Gilgamesh an archetypal hero. The presence of this type of character is what brings literature to life and gives it a whole new
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