Around 460 BCE a man named Thucydides lived to experience and record the historical storyline the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides was an Athenian, unbiased, historian that is best known for the way he structurally reconciled information from the Peloponnesian War and is credible for the most reliable source that chronicled the war. The Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient epic poem regularly deemed as the first great work of literature, gives civilization a definition to the people of ancient Mesopotamia (Earth of Its Peoples, 26). Gilgamesh, the ultimate leader of Uruk, pursues immortality throughout his journey, exemplifying his power and educating himself on humankind along the way. If a fellow Athenian were to recite the Epic of Gilgamesh to Thucydides, he would likely
A hero was a figure in a literature who went beyond the human’s limitation. Among countless heroic literature that were published, The Epic of Gilgamesh was the first Western Literature that portrayed an epic hero. Since the epic was written between 2150 and 1400 BCE, Gilgamesh was the Western Literature’s first known hero. Although each hero had similar characteristics, each hero had different situations and personalities, which led to different heroic archetypes. Depending on each situation and journey, the hero had different roles in literature such as either an epic hero or a tragic hero.
Gilgamesh reaches a watershed moment in his life when he recognizes his strengths and shortcomings, develops the capacity to accept change, and continues on his journey within himself. He had been concerned with his ego and mortality up until this time. Nevertheless, as he goes through the underworld, he is forced to accept his mortality and come to terms with the idea that death is an unavoidable part of existence. Gilgamesh ultimately returns to Uruk after recognizing the worth of life and the importance of leaving a meaningful legacy. Gilgamesh eventually learns this lesson, grows wiser and more modest, and returns to Uruk with a new understanding of life and the value of leaving a lasting effect.
Gilgamesh told this on his journey that he cannot become immortal. The gods’ relationship between humanity is that they are ultimately superior. Even a half god and half man cannot become a god. The relationship between man and god are important.
Gilgamesh, from the tale of Gilgamesh, was the king of Uruk, on the river Euphrates in modern Iraq. When the story is first intorduced, the reader can see that Gilgamesh was a very confident man and contained very little compassion for his people of Uruk. He was a king sure enough, but he was not one to count on as a leadear or a protector. He was the one to kill his people loved ones and rapes their daughters. He knew in his mind that he was superior to others due to the fact that he was two-thirds god and one third human.
Gilgamesh is an epic hero because, he part divine, interacts with gods and his story has a series of adventures and superhuman victories. Gilgamesh is a king that shows off his power and enviably shows his weak side in most altercations. Most scholars see him as a historical figure, but I myself think he is definitely an epic hero. He oppresses people who call out to the gods, this is not very heroic, but his other actions will show the truth. Gilgamesh IS an epic hero.
The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey have been a part of human literature for several years. Both poems are from the category of epic poetry and have a time difference of at least one thousand years apart. Their themes explore different aspects of human cultures and ideologies. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem from early Mesopotamian culture while the onset of the Greek civilization inspired The Odyssey. The main characters for these epics are Gilgamesh, a demigod and ruler of Uruk, and Odysseus a great warrior returning home to his wife from war.
In comparison, it’s always observed on how different scholars find the similarity of especially marital settings, characters, and as well as the wanderings of the mythological world. Different events within the life of these characters cover broadly a huge range of epic encounters that are heroic. The character, emotional and psychological development of Gilgamesh can be borrowed especially from the ancient heroic perspectives of mortality and death while comparing with Achilles. Mesopotamian civilization has had several phases in which hero Gilgamesh has been in existence, however having similar attributes. One of the earliest stories of Gilgamesh is developed from Sumerian texts, one of the most influential and well-known poems (Michelakis & Pantelis 2007).
Yet, after Enkidu passed away, Gilgamesh becomes so distraught, he becomes obsessed and fearful of death, and seeks the secret to immortality from there on. It is only after he learns the story of the flood from Utnapishtim, the epiphany that he becomes his most noble and wise self. Finally, he accepts his mortality on his way back to Uruk with the boatman alongside him: “O Ur-shanabi, climb Uruk’s wall and walk back and forth! Survey its foundations, examine the brickwork... A square mile is city, a square mile date-grove, a square mile is clay-pit, half a square mile the temple of Ishtar: three square miles and a half is Uruk’s expanse.”
Cultural Values A demigod named Gilgamesh, tragically loses his best friend, then he goes on a journey to find the secret of immortality. One could say that these specific cultural values work effectively for the Gods and the people of Uruk, such as rituals, war, and making sacrifices to make this culture successful. Commonly this culture mostly performs rituals for everlasting life or immortality. Gods are afraid of mortality and death itself.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the first epic poem to be written in ancient West Asia. It was written around the third millennium BCE in Mesopotamia by Sumerian people (Spodek, 127). The epic is based on actual an historical figure, a Sumerian king who reigned the city-state of Uruk around third millennium BCE. Ashurbanipal, the last Neo-Assyrian king who was literate, built a great library in his capital and preserved 20,000 tablets including the earliest complete version of The Epic of Gilgamesh (Spodek, 128). Sumerian attitudes towards gods, friendship, and the story of the great flood are revealed throughout the epic.
These societies have developed inventions and ideas that have significantly affected today’s world such as, government, art, wheels mathematics, and many more (Garone). The cultures and themes from the story are displayed all across the text, and after studying Gilgamesh’s culture and story, it is evident that there are numerous cultural contribution to modern day society, such as gods, seeking revenge or love, and destroying enemies. More importantly, throughout the text, Gilgamesh was in a predicament trying to figure out the meaning of life and the value of human accomplishment (Mark). The culture of mankind has always been to seek the meaning of life, no matter the time period, religion, or community. From the times of Gilgamesh to
BCE as a time period was quite vague and blurry. This story gives us an insight on descriptions on sumerian beliefs and most importantly, the sumerian culture in general. There is a certain amount of fact in this story but some truths are questionable. The facts in this story provides us with a picture of Sumeria which had many craftsmen, artistic skills, and people who strongly believed in God. The epic of Gilgamesh has details into art and skills.
Gilgamesh is an epic that has been passed down for thousands of years. The epic narrates the legendary deeds of the main character Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is two-thirds immortal and one-third mortal; however, he cannot accept his fate that one day he too will die. The entire epic tells the story of Gilgamesh’s life and searche for immortality. Through his many trials and tribulations, Gilgamesh proves that he has great physical strength.