Greatness Of Gilgamesh

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The Greatness of Gilgamesh When model rulers of the ancient world come to mind, they tend to have redeeming qualities. Moses led the exodus of the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. Julius Caesar was a man of the people who worked for the rights of the lower-class. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Gilgamesh didn’t fit the mold with the merciful leaders of old. Gilgamesh’s rule over Uruk is more akin to Vlad the Impaler’s. He is sadistic, unforgiving, and merciless. Had it not been for the people and gods that Gilgamesh interacted with, he would have traveled on the same terrifying path until the end of his days. The most noteworthy influences were Enkidu and Utnapishtim. Enkidu was largely important for introducing…show more content…
While he was also wise and courageous, he had no respect for traditions. He violated the sanctity of marriage by sleeping with newlywed brides. “Gilgamesh lets no girl go free to her bridegroom” (Gilgamesh 4). Hardly being the act of a model king, this is one of the first events that led to some divine retaliation. The people, angered by Gilgamesh’s acts, summon the goddess Aruru to challenge his tyrannical rule. She heeds their call and creates a man of equal stature to Gilgamesh named Enkidu. “In his build he is the image of Gilgamesh, but shorter in stature, and bigger in bone” (15). Being just as strong, wise, and powerful as Gilgamesh, Enkidu would challenge his whole existence and make him question who he really was.The intent of this was to seemingly show that Gilgamesh was not as powerful as a god, and to keep him in his place. Aruru’s creation would become one of his greatest motive forces to become a model…show more content…
Enlil, Humbaba’s master, believes that Enkidu should die for what he has done. He proceeds to curse Enkidu with a debilitating sickness. Enkidu’s death was the major turning point in Gilgamesh’s change in character. Up until this segment in the story, Gilgamesh had not experienced the pain of death of a loved one. It was a reminder that he, too, was a mortal. On his deathbed Enkidu states, “I do not die like one who falls in the midst of battle” (62). He is still in denial about being a mortal, but still succumbs to death anyway. This hits close to home with Gilgamesh, who still at this point believes he is bulletproof. Gilgamesh grieves the death of Enkidu, not knowing how to continue his life without him. While the death saddened him, it also frightened him. He did not want to have the same fate as his friend considering the all the pain it had caused him. “I do not fall in combat, and shall make not my name” (62). He is determined to become immortal so that he can carry on his and Enkidu’s
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