The Warnings In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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The Epic of Gilgamesh was written as a reminder to the people that the mortality of man should never change, because it is what defines humanity. However, in the world of The Epic of Gilgamesh, this does not seem to deter any who wish to break the cycle of life. Gilgamesh, distraught by the death of his companion, Enkidu, is overcome with the obsession of obtaining immortality, and goes along a journey to attain it. While on the journey of obtaining immortality, he faces many difficulties and warnings that should deter him away from doing so. Yet, Gilgamesh does not heed to the warnings. Readers tend to focus only on Gilgamesh’s quest in gaining immortality, but forget about the warnings that were given by the people he encountered throughout the journey.

Throughout the Epic, Gilgamesh encounters many people that warn him of the dangerous journey he is undertaking for immortality. The first warning was given by The Man-Scorpion after Gilgamesh had explained why he had chosen the path of immortality. “No man born of a woman has done what you have asked, no mortal man has gone into the mountain” (pg. 16). This should have given a warning for Gilgamesh
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He tells her why he went on the journey to gain immortality, because of the death of his friend Enkidu, Siduri listens to Gilgamesh and his reasons. They talk about Gilgamesh’s accomplishments of overthrowing Humbaba, killing the Bull of Heaven, the watchman of the cedar forest, and the lions in the passes. Siduri chooses to warn him after he sets his resolve on being immortal, “You will never find that life for which you are looking” (pg. 17). She further reminds Gilgamesh that mortals were created by the Gods to die, “When the gods created man they allotted to him death” (pg. 17). This explains that humans were fashioned and created to die, and that nothing will change that. Once again, Gilgamesh does not heed to the warning, and is seized in

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