The Rise And Fall Of Hubris In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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The Rise and Fall of Hubris
In essence, many of Mesopotamia’s tales focus on Gilgamesh’s epic. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem that portrays Gilgamesh’s journey, and ultimate aspiration for immortality despite the inevitability of death. The poem reveals his quest for a purpose and identity, which in turn can be perceived from many different aspects, ultimately molding his character in the epic. He perceives himself as two-thirds divine and one third man at the start of the tale, and progressively gains wisdom on his quest to conquer his aspirations of immortality, until he comes face to face with reality. His state of mind at the beginning of the epic, along with how it changes and matures, reveals the true heroes and villains of the story. …show more content…

He had many extraordinary qualities, and heroic characteristics. The most obvious being that he is a king, a man of highest level in society. He was also known and appreciated for building many walls and temples around his city, which no man who followed ever matched. However, after the presence of Enkidu was made, Gilgamesh started to become the more noble and favored ruler of Uruk. Since he finally knew what it was like to have a companion and someone of his level of greatness, he no longer terrorized his city as he did before, and is still aware that death is inevitable. 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.” (George, 99). This demonstrates Gilgamesh’s newfound appreciation for his city and life, and provides the audience with closure of his

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