Humbristic To Humble Gilgamesh Analysis

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Hubristic to Humble Great leaders embody a paradox. They develop strength and wisdom through failure and ignorance. The activist Gandhi recognizes this contradiction, noting that both strength and weakness and wisdom and folly are close companions: “it is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” Gilgamesh proves this truth in The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Herbert Mason. In this tale, a godly man, Gilgamesh, develops a friendship with beast-turned-man, Enkidu, who begins to teach Gilgamesh about the world and helps him to grapple with challenges. After one challenge in particular, a battle with the giant Humbaba, Enkidu dies abruptly, leaving Gilgamesh alone again, and forcing him to overcome adversities by himself. Gilgamesh is initially despondent, but these adversities eventually give him the strength to grow in wisdom and appreciation. Gilgamesh flourishes from his failures because he can finally understand the meanings of life and death, accept…show more content…
Always encountering success, Gilgamesh was once a tyrant to his people. Reflecting on his rule, he recalls that, “He demanded from an old birthright/the privilege of sleeping with their brides” (15). His triumphs fostered arrogance. To him, everyone else paled in comparison. When he experiences defeat, however, Gilgamesh grows as a leader, seeing the similarities between him and his subjects, their common humanity. After losing the plant of eternal life, Gilgamesh returns to his kingdom of Uruk. There, Gilgamesh looks over his empire, and is astonished at what he sees. He, “looked at the walls, awed at the heights his people had achieved” (92). Gilgamesh, once believing he was almighty, becomes a greater man and leader through
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