Heroism In Gilgamesh Epic Poetry

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Heroism as a theme has played a central role in epic poems since 800 BC. Literary works from the mythological and ancient times praise the wonderful deeds and actions of heroes. The epic of Gilgamesh is no exception to this theme. Written in 2100 BC, ancient Mesopotamia, the epic focuses on Gilgamesh, king of Uruth, and his dangerous expeditions. These expeditions entail extramundane phenomenon. They include going to Cedar forest in search of Humbaba, killing the bull of heaven sent by the goddess, Ishtar and searching for immortality. Through these expeditions, he becomes a hero. He wittingly jeopardizes his life to fight for the people of Uruk. The epic begins with a detailed description of the unique creation of Gilgamesh and his internal and external attributes. According to the author, “When the gods created Gilgamesh they gave him a perfect body. Shamash the glorious sun endowed him with beauty, Adad the god of the storm endowed him with courage, the great gods made his beauty perfect, surpassing all others, terrifying like a great wild bull. Two thirds they made him god and one third man”. This comprehensive description of the unnatural nature of Gilgamesh introduces him as the hero in the epic. Similarly, based on the definition of a hero in classical mythology, Gilgamesh is a hero because he is demigod . In addition, aside from being beautiful and courageous, Gilgamesh “… was the …show more content…

As a result, he becomes a hero. In addition, his ability to put his life at risk even when death is inevitable demonstrates heroism. However, with that being said, it is important to note that all of his expeditions were mainly for his benefit and not for the benefit of the people. And so, since classical heroes accomplished tasks for the benefit of humanity, could we still consider Gilgamesh a

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