Gilgamesh King's Role

324 Words2 Pages

According to The Epic of Gilgamesh, a king is a divine agent whose duty it is to enforce the will of the gods and “be a shepherd to his people” (p.4). By definition, a shepherd is expected to protect his people from all harm seeing that it is a ruler’s responsibility to care for his own as evidenced by Gilgamesh’s quest to defeat the evil Humbaba. Furthermore, we can reason that another of the king’s roles is to expand his land and conquer new territory as per his duty as a military leader. We see this when Gilgamesh invades the forest and cuts down the cedar tree, thereby challenging Humbaba (p.10).
In ancient Mesopotamia, kings were exalted and viewed as god-like beings. Gilgamesh was, in the eyes of his people, a poor leader who abused

Open Document