Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

1640 words - 7 pages

Aylin Sipahi
CMLT C110
Final Essay for Epic of Gilgamesh
February 19, 2013
The Epic of Gilgamesh serves as a great looking glass into a long lost culture in which most artifacts are lost. The story centers on Gilgamesh, a ruthless king who is two thirds god and one third man. As king, he does not meet his potentials of leadership as he is often self-centered and sometimes depicted as inhumane. When his dear friend Enkidu dies, he sets off to find immortality. He eventually fails, but during his journey, he came to terms with his mortality and became a more compassionate person. Even though the main characters are men, the women play small but vital roles along his journey. The women in ...view middle of the document...

He confesses that “it’s attraction was like the love of a woman. They helped me, I braced my forehead and I raised it with thongs and brought it to you, and you yourself pronounced it my brother (page 66).” He told his other dream where, “in the streets of strong-walled Uruk there lay an axe; the shape of it was strange and the people thronged round. I saw it and was glad. I bent down, deeply drawn towards it; I loved it like a woman and wore it at my side (page 67).” The reason for his confusion can stem from the fact that Gilgamesh loves the meteor and the axe like a woman, but they are both sex objects he does not understand. With his dreams revolving around the idea of love and femininity, this could be another reason why Gilgamesh seeks out a woman to interpret the dreams. Ninsun then interprets the dreams for him, saying that it foretells a friend coming. She tells Gilgamesh that he will, “love him as a woman and he will never forsake you. This is the meaning of the dream (page 66).” She is the one responsible for informing Gilgamesh on Enkidu’s arrival. This form of vital information from his mother is a way for her to civilize him. It distracts him from tormenting the city as he listens to the messages given to him. His mother promises something new that somewhat challenges his manhood unlike his current activities that seem very one-sided and in his favor. He now has something new to look forward to that could possibly defy him and concentrates on that.
Another example of how women in this epic are sources of civilization is revealed in the chapter, “The Coming of Enkidu.” Enkidu was created by the gods to be an equal of Gilgamesh. Born wild and uncivilized, he was hairy and lived with the animals. After an encounter with a shepherd, a harlot from the “temple of love” was brought to civilize Enkidu. The shepherd told the harlot,” teach him, the savage man, your womanly ways, for when he murmurs love to you the wild beasts that shared his life in the hill will reject him (page 64).” After teaching him for six days and seven nights of her womanly art, Enkidu was indeed rejected from his animal friends “for wisdom was in him, and the thoughts of a man were in his heart (page 65).” Feeling alone and unwanted, Enkidu returned to the harlot and allowed her to take him to the enlightened world. On the way, she clothed him, fed him, had him drink wine and treated him more as a child than a lover. This example illustrates one way that women were able to civilize men in this epic. The reason Enkidu returned to the harlot was simply because he liked her. The experience she gave to him was a positive one, one that was receptive and pleasurable. Enkidu returns to her in the hopes that she will give him more instruction and because she is the only person that will talk to him. This is a new relationship to him because it is already predicated to this woman taking charge and teaching him new ideas, customs, and how to live life as a real man. ...

Other Papers Like Epic of Gilgamesh

The Friendship Theme In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

785 words - 4 pages Role of Friendship in The Epic of GilgameshThe Epic of Gilgamesh, the first and most important epical writing of Mesopotamia, narrates the efforts of finding fame and immortality of Gilgamesh, the king of the city of Uruk, and the advancement of friendship between Gilgamesh and the steppe man, Enkidu. Fame and immortality were the aims of Gilgamesh but friendship was not. While trying to get immortality, he learnt what friendship is and the

The Universal Truths on the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Hebrew Bible

610 words - 3 pages Christopher Gilchrist Professor Ms. Alyse W. Jones World Literature I - English 2111 October 7, 2012 The Universal Truths on ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh & The Hebrew Bible’ The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Hebrew Bible are considered by their audiences’ as two of the greatest literary works of ancient literature. The universal truths on The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Hebrew Bible, are most fundamental when viewed from both the contemporary

Gilgamesh and the Monomyth Analysis

968 words - 4 pages Gilgamesh and the Monomyth The Monomyth, a theory perfected by Joseph Campbell, is a “hero’s journey in a story that refers to a basic pattern found in many narratives from around the world” (Campbell 2). The Monomyth is divided into three stages: Separation, Initiation, and Return. In these three stages, there are a total of seventeen sub-stages that explain each stage in specific detail. The Epic of Gilgamesh fulfills the stages of

Response Paper 1-Flood Accounts

318 words - 2 pages Response Paper: Gilgamesh and Old Testament Question: Is the biblical flood account a modified copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh? The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament have their similarities as well as differences. The Epic of Gilgamesh is supposedly a mythical tale, while the Old Testament has proven to be true facts. I feel as if the biblical flood account can’t possibly be a modified copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh because while Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh

707 words - 3 pages Adva Asraf English 391-0500- Pamplin January 14th, 2016 Essay #1 Epic heroism usually denotes to an individual of highest social class such as great kings or leaders. Epic heroes are outstanding fighters, sometimes carrying some divine powers. To show his heroic elements, the hero must confront some supernatural enemies, quests, war, or adversity. The Epic of Gilgamesh depicts most of these characteristics of epic heroism. The description

English Gilgamesh

435 words - 2 pages The mythical tale of ‘The epic of Gilgamesh’, first and foremost leads me to make the statement that in my own opinion most myths, or legends are born from actual events, actual people, and are manipulated, or exaggerated over time. The description and characteristics of Gilgamesh himself are the perfect example of exaggeration, “When the gods created Gilgamesh they gave him a perfect body. Shamash endowed him with beauty, Adad the god of the

Beowulf and Gilgamesh

622 words - 3 pages Beowulf and Gilgamesh Monsters, timeless tales, heroes, and villains. All of these are factors of the epic tales of "Beowulf" and "Gilgamesh". These stories have a profound meaning to the people of England, just as the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" have a deep meaning to the ancient people of Greece. We will explore the varied similarities and the differences that both these epic stories contain. Both "Beowulf" and "Gilgamesh" have several

Gilgamesh and Odysseus

2541 words - 11 pages . Gilgamesh was a very popular and it was very valuable to the historian of Mesopotamian culture because it reveals much about the religious world, such as their attitudes toward the gods, how a hero was defined and regarded, views about death and friendship. The Odyssey was also very popular in its era. It was set in ancient Greece where in its culture; mythology was the heart of everyday life. Gilgamesh, the hero from the epic Gilgamesh, was

Friendship Theme in Gilgamesh

1020 words - 5 pages and Humbaba, / Who listened to my dreams, / Who shared my pain. / Why did he have to die? / He would have stayed with me in death. / He would not have let me die alone. / He was a friend. / He stopped, realizing / He had not come this far to hear himself / Recall the failure of his grief to save / But to find an end to his despair. The concept of friendship sheds new light on the epic Gilgamesh. Enkidu, a true friend to the

Noah And Gilgamesh The Two Floods

1295 words - 6 pages Running head: THE TWO FLOODS 1 Noah and Gilgamesh the Two Great Floods Jonathan Bailey Oakland City University English 201 World Lit. The Two Floods 2 The History The epic story of Gilgamesh has been an interest of religious patrons since it was found in the ruins of the great library of Nineveh in the mid-nineteenth century, along with its substantial similarities to the great flood in Noah’s day. The remaining

Gilgamesh

1255 words - 6 pages The Epic of Gilgamesh: An Analysis The Epic of Gilgamesh teaches us many things about the Mesopotamian perception of the metaphysical. The Mesopotamian gods are quite Hellenistic in the way that they may interfere as they see fit with human beings to the point that they may conceive children with them; Gilgamesh himself is two thirds god and one third man. Gilgamesh’s mother is Ninsun who is a minor goddess known for her wisdom and his father

Related Essays

Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

1344 words - 6 pages During the time period of the Epic of Gilgamesh, humans constructed an understanding of the proper relationship between the divine and human beings through interactions with the gods and reactions from the gods. This is clearly illustrated in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk and his quest for immortality. It dates back to the second millennium BCE, and takes place in what is likely modern day Iraq, the center of

The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

611 words - 3 pages Divine Immortality Throughout history, people have searched to remedy their mortality. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient quest for immortality that reveals facts about the period. In ancient Mesopotamia, it was believed that the gods had ultimate authority over humans and their mortality. The story reveals how the ancient world viewed their deities and what part it played in society. Gilgamesh’s quest to seek immortality was fraught with

Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

799 words - 4 pages history. Many archeologists have found certain pieces of evidence which shows them that some of these ancient myths out there are real, like the Genesis of the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Flood of the Bible. Many believe that only one of these stories is true, and that possibly one story inspired many other stories to come about. The two stories (Genesis and the Flood) had a lot of similarities like they both built a boat, there was a flood, and

Comparing The Bhagavad Gita And The Epic Of Gilgamesh

1682 words - 7 pages Merriam- Webster online dictionary defines an epic hero as, “ A grand and noble character in an epic poem, admired for great achievements or effected by grand events.” The same dictionary also defines an epic poem as, “a story told about a hero or exciting events.” The Epic of Gilgamesh is often considered the oldest story on earth; which would make Gilgamesh, the story’s controversial main character, and the world’s oldest epic hero. This