Position Of Humans In Gilgamesh Essay

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The position of humans in relation to the gods in The Epic of Gilgamesh is a direct reflection of Mesopotamian society’s view in which humans are subservient to the gods’ will. To be more specific, humans are expected to be obedient to the god’s will in their actions and are punished for disobeying. In this manner, even Gilgamesh who is 2/3’s divine, is still subjected to the other positions of humans yet, his defiant nature shows the emotions of the gods when people are disobedient.
One of the most relevant scenes that shows human’s positions is when Gilgamesh denies Ishtar’s sexual advances. I this scene, Gilgamesh has just returned from slaying Huwawa and Ishtar comments on Gilgamesh’s beauty and wants to sleep with him. Gilgamesh is offered treasure in exchange for the affair but cites how Ishtar has loved Dumuzi, the allallu bird, a lion, and a horse which Ishtar at some point, lost interest in or betrayed them as a result. Likewise, Gilgamesh does not want to be subordinate to Ishtar and sees past the inherent position of his humanness. Ishtar then sends the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilgamesh which is inevitably killed by Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The scene shows how humans are equated to animals in the eyes of the gods and are supposed to be
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Similar to Atrahasis, the gods decide to destroy humanity, and feel remorse after causing a flood that almost accomplishes their will. Both Atrahasis and The Epic of Gilgamesh provide the framework that humans are ultimately expendable in the eyes of the gods either due to disobedience or inconvenience as both stories show humans as servants to the gods. This point is reinforced by the Enuma Elis which has Marduk creating humanity to do the work of the gods. In conclusion, the three aforementioned scenes show humanity as equated to servants, objects of the gods, and punished for disobeying their
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