The Epic of Gilgamesh

A Theme of Brotherhood in the Epic of Gilgamesh

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, there is Gilgamesh, half man half demigod whose ultimate goal is to reach immortality and then there’s Endiku, who was made from clay and water by Aruru who lived with the wild. The whole creation of Endiku was made to rid Gilgamesh of his arrogance and Gilgamesh quest for immortality is what ultimately led him to meet Endiku and the genuine kinship between those two is libertarian. Everything is shared and the premise of the brotherhood is entirely charitable. The companionship between the ruler Gilgamesh and the man of the steppe, Enkidu, was not a genuine and equivalent kinship. Loyalties and forfeits to that fellowship were unbalanced. Companionship is passed on in more than one path in Gilgamesh. The fellowship among Enkidu and the creatures of the steppe is the principal case of kinship. Enkidu lived with the creatures, as one of them. He liberated them from the devices the seekers set. Ninsun was correct, and the kinship among Gilgamesh and Enkidu was one of incredible dedication and trust. The development of the kinship among Gilgamesh and Enkidu was exceptionally unexpected. After gathering, they battled wildly, ceased, and grasped. This conciseness gives a quality of inventiveness to the relationship, yet that is later broken by their steadfastness to each other in the accompanying scenes. Furthermore, they were companions, they had grasped and made their promise to remain together in every case regardless of the obstacles but the flaws of this brotherhood will soon come to fruition. Overall the brotherhood was a bad thing because it ultimately got Endiku killed for Gilgamesh’s deeds.

The arrangement of companionship among Gilgamesh and Enkidu was exceptionally stunning. When they met one another, they began to battle. This occasion would have driven individuals to imagine that their companionship wouldn’t work out and that they would be foes. As the book intrigues our imagination, we as a whole discover this is demonstrated off base by their dependability to each other. A case of this would be the accompanying statement, ‘And they were friends: They had embraced and made their vow To stay together always, No matter what the obstacle”. The most ideal way the creator depicted this steadfastness is by demonstrating their friendship and consolation to each other. When one of the companions indicated shortcoming, the other fortified boldness and helped them to remember their fellowship and how they will dependably be as one.

As the story goes on, King Gilgamesh of Uruk is portrayed to be in adult masculinity and better than every other man in both excellence and quality. There was nobody who could coordinate with him in the antiquated Mesopotamian culture. The unsatisfied longings of his divine being nature couldn’t locate a reasonable mate for him in adoration or war. What’s more, his unsatisfied daemonic vitality made the general population of Uruk unsatisfied with his rule. Since he was deficient with regards to love and fellowship, Gilgamesh swung to overabundance and guilty pleasure, and he praised his triumphs with a lot of debased celebrating, which irritated the people in the city just as the divine beings in the sanctuaries. Due to his onerous principle, the general population requested assistance from the divine beings since they expected that some time or another Gilgamesh would request a larger piece of his awesome legacy, challenge the divine beings and even shake the mainstays of paradise in the event that he was not controlled. In this way, to counter the risk, the divine beings concocted an arrangement of making Enkidu, who was the perfect representation of Gilgamesh. They trusted that the lord would redirect his perilous energies toward that rival in this way quit testing paradise. The divine beings at that point influenced Enkidu from dirt and left him in the wild to live to and eat as the creatures do.

Endiku is found by Shamhat the Harlot, a local prostitute. Enkidu is changed by Shamhat, the whore, from a creature to a human. His experience with the whore was his advancement of masculinity. As the whore enlightens Enkidu concerning Gilgamesh, Enkidu feels a requirement for a sidekick and he chooses to meet Gilgamesh. In the meantime, Gilgamesh had a fantasy to advise him that he will get a companion whom he will hold onto as a spouse. In his fantasies, as Ninsun, his mom, translated, ‘there will come to you a powerful man, a confidant who spares his companion, he is the mightiest in the land, he is the most grounded’. With now knowing this Gilgamesh is intrigued with the idea of having an equal, a soulmate. Enkidu helps put Gilgamesh’s power into balance. Gilgamesh was a ruler who was hated by the inhabitants of his city of Uruk because of his abuse of power. In his regime, “there was no rival who could raise his weapon against him…Gilgamesh didn’t leave a son to his father, He didn’t leave a girl to her betrothed!” The seduction by Shamhat on Endiku ultimately is what caused the death of Endiku because if Gilgamesh had never treated his people badly and had so much arrogance and if Shamhat had never seduced Endiku everything would have been different.

The bond between Gilgamesh and Endiku proves strong as time goes on and they go on more and more adventures. At first, the bond between the two was weak until Gilgamesh decided that the two should go to the cedar forest to cut down some trees so that they could build a monument for the gods. The nearby cedar forest is forbidden to mortals and it is also home to demigod monster named Humbaba. Upon entering and cutting down trees from the forest the two companions soon meet the monster and a fight break out between Gilgamesh, Endiku, and Humbaba. With assistance from Shamash, the sun god, they killed Humbaba and made their way back home. In the meantime, the goddess of love, Ishtar gains lust for Gilgamesh and after he disses her, filled with rage, she asks her father Anu, the god of the sky, to punish him by the sending the bull of heaven, The bull brings with it, seven years of famine. After a battle with the bull. Gilgamesh and Endiku kill the bull and this makes the god gather in council to discuss the punishment for the two and they decided to punish Gilgamesh by killing Endiku. Endiku becomes sick and suffers immensely. He shares his vision of the underworld with Gilgamesh and after he dies, Gilgamesh becomes heartbroken.

In the Epic Of Gilgamesh, we can watch a few connections however the one among Gilgamesh and Endiku is the most critical. The two men, who are similarly solid, want to join their qualities and shortcomings, their bravery and dread; they are becoming together both candidly and physically making an incredible group. Gilgamesh feels a colossal void after Endiku’s passing, and in his despondency to the city guides, he discharges his musings and emotions about his association with Endiku. The relationship they have is that of the two perfect partners, they accentuate sharing and thinking about one another.

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The Moral Of Life From The Sociological Prospect In The Texts Of The Ramayana And Gilgamesh

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Moral values are known to be the right or wrong ways that a person perceives life. They affect the paths and choices you make, and ultimately your life depends on them, considering you grow up believing in them. Losing someone can awaken your morals, or eventually make you lose sight of what you used to believe in. In the texts of the Ramayana and Gilgamesh, the moral of life was awakened in relation to the Sociological Prospect. The Sociological Prospect, as stated by Campbell is that it is known to be “the validation and maintenance of an established order.” It can also be wisdom and be an embodiment of morals that eventually teach us how to behave and live life.

In the Ramayana, Rama believed people’s words and did not believe in Sita and her devotion towards him. He felt victim to people’s nay-say which claimed that Sita was impure because of how long she had stayed with Ravana. However, she later proved them all long. When Sita’s and Rama’s sons, Lava and Kusha, found Rama and his kingdom, it eventually led Sita back to Rama. He learned that she was faithful after all after seeing that she was the twins’ mother, but it was also confirmed after she dropped into the Earth that she was never unfaithful to him. Losing his wife and failing to see his children grow up most likely awakened a moral of Rama’s. The moral would probably be that you shouldn’t be so careless to fall into people’s words. Strangers don’t know your family better than you. In the sense of the Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh lost his best friend Enkidu to the hands of the Gods. He kept challenging the Gods by slaughtering anything considered sacred to them, and so eventually both men faced the Gods’ wrath. They chose one to die, and the other to learn a valuable lesson from the death. Fear was instigated in Gilgamesh from the Gods, but a moral was also learned. Gilgamesh should not challenge authority that he has no right to be going against.

Besides both men losing their loved ones, they can be remembered for the love they offered to the others. Gilgamesh and Rama both had gone on a journey, for their own purposes, however, someone had accompanied both of them along the way. In a way, the people who had accompanied them had also built their character to how we can view it now. Rama went on his journey with both Lakshmana and his wife Sita to destroy the evil of Ravana. He became more motivated on his journey and continued to build his dharma once his wife was kidnapped. Anything that he would do would be because of her and her safety. Similarly, Gilgamesh went on a journey with someone who filled the void in his life like Lakshmana and Sita did to Rama. Enkidu became Gilgamesh’s best friend and gave him a purpose and way to build his character. He was no longer just the cruel tyrant that everyone hated. Out of this, both characters grew as a whole and learned the moral values of companionship and love.

There is some sort of similarity in the divine prospect both stories portray, but yet a vast difference in the motives. Rama is already divine, considering he was an incarnate of Vishnu, yet relies on the Gods to help guide him through his path to defeat Ravana. He gets what he wants because he completes his Dharma to his wife and the Gods. On the other hand, Gilgamesh was proclaimed to having been born of the Gods, yet when you read the story, there is almost no divine aura you can grasp of his. Yes, he defeated many of the Gods’ sacred obstacles, but he didn’t do it for good. He even brought famine upon his kingdom. Rama never looked for immortality, despite being a human-like Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh however, looked to attain that prospect, and yet failed. Rama did things for the good of the world and received that goodness back in turn. With Gilgamesh it was the opposite, he expanded his kingdom, but exploited its people. He didn’t necessarily do any good if his own people prayed to the Gods to send something to deter him. And so, the moral that can be learned from both of these experiences is that do to others what you’d want to be done to you. And really, be kind to people, for what comes around, goes back around.

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The Roles of Leadership in “The Iliad”, “Gilgamesh”, and “The Art of War”

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Iliad, Gilgamesh, and The Art of War are set in different time periods. The Art of War posits that good leadership is a matter of life and death, a road to either safety or ruin. Master Sun Tzu does everything he can including extreme violence to gain implicit obedience among his subjects, but due to their unwillingness to learn and listen, he must take drastic measures to get his point across such as beheading two of the favored concubines. In the next two stories, the death of a companion is the turning point in the life and leadership of our two heroes. Both Gilgamesh and Achilles experienced aspirations and entitlement to greatness and glory and this is heightened by the fact that both have minor goddesses for a mother and a mortal father. Both will eventually recognize their humanity. Gilgamesh and Achilles are in such grief from the loss of their friends that they attempt to push human limits. Gilgamesh is a tyrant and his lack of mercy for his people brings a lack of mercy for himself as evidenced by his people appealing to the God’s for action against him. Achilles’ grieving results in his rage overtaking his life and almost leading to ruin. His mother tells him, “it is fated that if he kills Hector, he will himself die soon after” (Wilson, 38). One leader will eventually learn from others and his mortality to become a successful leader while the other dooms himself.

Leadership is the ability to govern and direct those who will follow. There are some attributes that most great leaders have, such as, patience, wisdom gained from experience and selflessness. One writer defines leadership as “a ruler who respects the traditional rights and practices of his people and defends them” (Vulpe 280). Leaders do not always have all these traits, but they usually have some. The kings in our stories become intoxicated with the desire for greatness more so than the desire to sacrifice self for the good of others.

Gilgamesh builds the city of Uruk and becomes the king. He acts like a god before men and recognizes no force able to resist him. He makes a mockery of the rights of the people. He uses his power and authority as a ruler to indulge only himself and his emotional and carnal desires including the right to be the first to sleep with a new bride before her husband. The sons and daughters of the citizens are also at risk because of his sexual appetite. Unfortunately, a lot of people in a place of authority use their clout to obtain things they want. Gilgamesh turns into such a cruel, self-centered, and stubborn ruler, the people of the city rebel against his rule and call on the gods to help them. They say, “Your people now come to you for help. Gilgamesh arrogantly leaves no son to his father, Yet he should be the shepherd of the city” (Getty and Kwon 78). The people do not see him as a shepherd of the city or any kind of caring leader.

Since Gilgamesh is two-thirds divine, and one-third human he believes himself to be all knowing, the master of wisdom, and immortal. He goes on a journey in search of everlasting life but after witnessing death, he gets scared and as they approach danger, Gilgamesh says to his young friend Enkidu, “Who, my friend, can scale heaven? Only the gods live forever under the sun. As for mankind, numbered are their days; Whatever they achieve is but wind… Should I fall, I shall have made me a name: ‘Gilgamesh’—they will say— ‘against fierce Huwawa has fallen.’… (Wilson 27). As they start to the Cedar Forest to defeat Humbaba, Gilgamesh, in an effort to be a good leader, tells Enkidu, “But since you are now dreading death, offering nothing of your courage—I, I’ll be your protector, marching in front of you! Your own mouth shall tell others that you feared the onslaught of battle, Whereas I, if I should fall, will have established my name forever” (Getty and Kwon 84). This does show one trait of a good king by showing the skills of a leader and the ability to conquer his fears. “His meeting with Enkidu teaches Gilgamesh that his power is not unlimited and ultimately will play a role effectively ending his tyranny in Uruk” (Vulpe 280). He has had close fellowship and love with a human friend and has learned how valuable that is. By the end of the story, Gilgamesh has changed when he kills Humbaba. He saves the city and sees the limits of his control over events. He realizes he is also dependent on time.

After Gilgamesh travels to Utnapishtim to find everlasting life, Utnapishtim tells him: “Does anyone build a house that will stand forever, or sign a contract for all time? The dead are alike, and Death makes no distinction between Servant and master, when they have reached their full span allotted” (Getty and Kwon 94). Then Utnapishtim speaks to Gilgamesh, saying: “Gilgamesh, you have labored long. What now shall I give you before you return to your country?” (Getty and Kwon 99). He tells him about a plant which resembles a buckthorn that will give him back the vigor of his youth. His past does not change, but he is beginning to change when he departs from his selfish ways and chooses to take the plant-of life back to his people rather than eat it immediately himself. He struggles through several challenges trying to get the plant back to Uruk. Even though Gilgamesh fails in his quest, because the serpent took the plant away from him, he has the welfare of his people at heart.

Both Achilles and Gilgamesh are influenced by a relationship with a friend and they are reluctant to accept the death of Enkidu and Patroclus. Achilles’ is the bravest, most handsome, and greatest Greek warrior in the Trojan War. His father had said, “to be always most valiant and superior to the rest” (Wilson 27) but his anger has manifested itself and he becomes obsessed with revenge. After Achilles refuses further service in the war, Patroclus goes to the battlefield disguised in Achille’s armor. It never enters their mind that Patroclus could be killed. The blame for his death should be put on Achilles for letting Patroclus impersonate him on the battlefield. Achilles’ grief and rage when Patroclus’s body is brought to him can only be copied by animal imagery. So many times, this speaks to the nature of humanity.

Achilles’ leadership starts out with honor and glory, but this bypasses him when grief overtakes his sanity. He ignores his physical needs when he decides to not sleep, rest or eat because of his grief. Achilles can only focus on vindicating himself for the loss of Patroclus and by doing this, he wants to kill as many Trojans as possible. He becomes a different person and shows dark, obsessive and menacing behaviors causing him to do horrific things to Hector’s body by boastfully dragging it around the city. Achilles looks for greatness and notability, but he destroys this with his hatred and grief. He must come back from the place that his unbearable loss has put him in. But Achilles does not understand that the revenge he is seeking will only ensure his own death. Achilles cannot be a good commander when he is so consumed with revenge, anger, hatred, and emotion. He knows he does not have any choice in the matter when his mother tells him to stop shortening his life. Achilles finally agrees and says, “so be it” (Wilson 40). Achilles returns from the deep depression and sadness he found himself in, and it ends in a victory for humane feelings.

Master Sun said, “The Way of War is A Way of Deception” (Tzu and Minford 8). By this, he means there is deception at every turn. You cannot let the enemy know your strengths and weaknesses and you must be ready to address whatever tactics you are faced with. You must be able to make changes in your plans when you see it is necessary for victory. This works in many situations throughout life. That is why you must be a focused leader and a presenter to your subjects or people. When he is demonstrating his method of warfare and military training, Master Sun has problems when he cannot get his army to listen to him. The two concubines placed as leaders of the army do not know they will be an example. He has both killed to get the point across that they need to act in accordance with the orders of their superiors. The Art of War produces a military style of leadership that can aid in a war or life in general. That is why this process is still studied in many areas around the world for military and other necessities.

Master Sun tells you to follow your advantage and you can master your opportunity which is great advice. Being the opposite of what the enemy envisions, gives a great advantage. “Ultimate excellence lies Not in winning Every battle, But in defeating the enemy Without ever fighting” (Minford and Tzu 10). It is always better to defeat someone you are at odds with by breaking their resistance without confrontation. If a general is not structured enough to send his troops out in coordination without deaths, it will be a calamity if the city is not taken. Master Sun states there are five steps for victory, “Know when to fight, And when not to fight; Understand how to deploy Large and small Numbers; Have officers and men who Share a single will; Be ready For the unexpected; Have a capable general Unhampered by his sovereign” (Minford andTzu 12-13). Master Sun has the ability to turn people that are in charge into leaders. He does not accept silliness or laziness but strict conformance and requires everyone to be of one mind. His people will watch him for guidance and will follow him into battle. After reading Master Sun’s directives for victory, you will understand what he focuses on when it comes to a leader. He firmly believes and has proven that strict discipline and structure is imperative to have a good and successful military.

The leaders in these stories want popularity, fame, and glory. Gilgamesh wants immortality and feels like he must live forever to accomplish his goals and obtain excellence. The turning point for Gilgamesh is losing Enkidu and realizing he is not immortal. Even as Achilles is mourning the loss of his friend Patroclus, he would rather die young and have greatness than to live a long life and be little known. Sun Tzu was the one who had the knowledge and experience to lay out the plan for great leadership and victory.

In the Bible, Matthew 21:28-32 “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not’: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir’; and went not” (The Holy Bible 1097). Which one did what his father wanted? Gilgamesh started out as a terrible ruler but became a good ruler because of the love and companionship of a human friend, Enkidu. He realizes he is mortal and must die like every man does. Achilles, on the other hand, starts as a good leader but lets his grief and his desire for revenge lead him to do horrible things to Hector’s body thus losing respect and honor.

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Comparison of Noah and Gilgamesh

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

It is said that life is 10% what you influence it and 90% how you to take it. It isn’t the conditions of life that decide a man’s character. Or maybe, it is the way a man reacts to those conditions that gives a show of his identity. “From the Epic of Gilgamesh”, and “Noah and the Flood” from the Book of Genesis, both Gilgamesh and Noah confront comparable conditions, however don’t generally react to them a similar way. The postulation “Gilgamesh” and “Noah and the Flood” makes about the mission for everlasting status and extreme frailty speaks to the human dread of death and the want to be recalled is tolerating to not be responsible for death’s certainty. The differences between “The Epic of Gilgamesh” and Genesis may mirror the estimations of the way of life that delivered them. Both Noah and Gilgamesh were given a shot at life. Noah took after God’s guidelines and this spared him from death amid the surge. Gilgamesh responded to the offer of everlasting life in an easygoing way, which made him lose his objective not once, but rather twice. Maybe the Hebraic culture esteems compliance and train, while the old Middle Eastern societies set more significance on activities and deeds.

Noah is the man who took after directions and got away from a surge, while Gilgamesh is the man who executed wild brutes and came painfully near interminable life. Each are similarly deified by their particular societies. The surge in the two stories wrecks the majority of creation. These surges are an image. They speak to resurrection and a fresh start for creation, and the forces that god or the divine beings have available to them. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, the divine beings chose to devastate humankind by flooding earth for six days and six evenings. Utnapishtim was constructed a watercraft keeping in mind the end goal to restart humankind after the surge. In Genesis, God chose to surge the Earth for forty days and forty evenings. God picked Noah to assemble an ark to spare two of every creature and revive life after the surge. In both The Epic of Gilgamesh, and Genesis, an account of a surge happens; these stories look into in a few imperative ways. In the two stories humankind was eradicated in light of the fact that the situation was getting to be noticeably riotous. In The Epic of Gilgamesh the god Enlil’s explanation behind needing to wreck man was “the mayhem of humankind is unbearable and rest is not any more conceivable by reason of the babel” (108).

Alternate divine beings concurred with Enlil’s revelation. In Genesis, God additionally watched that the fiendishness of man had assumed control over the Earth. Utnapishtim was survived the immense surge since he was a genuine admirer of the god Ea, who came to caution Utnapishtim about the surge. Utnapishtim and Noah moved toward their individual voyages by building a substantial watercraft, and bringing their families, and additionally two of each creature, on board. Utnapishtim’s vessel was two hundred feet tall, with six stories. Noah’s ark was thirty cubits high, and three stories tall. Utnapishtim and Noah both made due by remaining on their separate vessels all through the span of the surge.

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The Characters and Qualities of Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the book, Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh and Enkidu set out on an adventure to kill Humbaba. The two characters, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, are complete opposites from each other and this helps them get through a tough challenge. Gilgamesh, the epic hero, and Enkidu, the foil, have many character traits that help motivate the other. Gilgamesh had multiple great qualities such as heroism, perseverance, and loyalty. He also has multiple flaws that slowed him down such as, pridefulness, self-righteousness, and selfishness. Enkidu had multiple great qualities as well. His qualities ranged from confidence, omniscience, and leadership. Gilgamesh’s two main qualities that are shown in the book are his overflowing pride, and his perseverance. Because of his pride, he does not listen to Enkidu. This is a major flaw in the book. You can also see Gilgamesh’s perseverance when he finds out that the results from this challenge might not go his way. Even after finding that out, he continues to go pray to Shamash (26).

Enkidu’s two main qualities shown in the book are his leadership and loyalty. His leadership can be noticed when the Elders of Uruk tell Gilgamesh to let Enkidu lead and he gladly takes the lead and guides them to the cedar forest (23). You can also see Enkidu’s loyalty when Gilgamesh makes a dangerous idea and Enkidu helps him stray away from the idea because they are great friends. If Gilgamesh, were a modern day epic story then Gilgamesh and Enkidu would have to acquire a few new characteristics. Gilgamesh would have to have a social media page where he posts all of his accomplishments, he would be a bad relier to texts or emails, and he would have to be always too distracted by his phone to listen to what Enkidu had to say. Enkidu would have to have a social media account that posts inspirational quotes, and he should have an advice hotline on speed dial so he could get advice for what to tell Gilgamesh in any given scenario.

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Development of Characterization IN Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and the Iliad

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

What makes a character in a story different from any other character? While reading epic novels about the Anglo-Saxon culture and epic heroes, a character’s characterization and his development of characterization set him apart from the other characters in the novel. There are multiple ways that characterization developed while using a different literary element present in Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and The Iliad.

In the book, Beowulf, the main character, Beowulf, was a noble Anglo-Saxon hero. When a monster, Grendel, goes to King Hrothgar’s party and kills Hrothgar’s men, Beowulf tries to find and kill the perpetrating monster behind the murder (Beers 22). When Beowulf saw what Grendel had done, he was ready to fight and die for the revenge of Hrothgar’s men. However, after the long, struggling fight, Beowulf defeated Grendel. Little did he know, Beowulf was going to have to face Grendel’s mother. She had come back for vengeance on Beowulf, for the murder of her son. During the fight between Beowulf and Grendel’s Mother, Beowulf used the same tactics he had used against Grendel. He soon finds out that Grendel’s Mother is not affected by his sword (Beers 26). Finding out the sword did not harm the beast showed that people could not use the same solution for all conflicts in life. The problematic encounter led to a characterization change because Beowulf had to think quickly for another solution to win the battle. He decided to fight Grendel’s Mom with his bare hands. That worked, but it was not very useful. Then, Beowulf saw a massive sword mounted on the wall (Beers 27). The sword blessed with the magic of the giants was too mighty for any human to hold. Beowulf, now enraged and ferocious, grabbed the sword from the wall and thrust it right into the monster’s neck. Due to the strike of the sword, the beast fell to the floor lifeless, and the sword became covered in the blood of the creature. This story slowly developed Beowulf’s character from a prepared warrior, to become a witty and ferocious fighter. This novel and the multiple instances of development explain how Beowulf was different from the monsters from his experiences.

In the epic novel, Gilgamesh, the main character, Gilgamesh, and his friend, Enkidu, help each other develop into a new role. Over the course of the story, Gilgamesh and Enkidu both set out on a journey to an enchanted forest to kill Humbaba, Guardian of the Cedar Forest. The development of the character, Gilgamesh, is achieved through the use of a foil character. Enkidu is the foil character to Gilgamesh, and he is known as Gilgamesh’s conscience and his guardian. During the novel, Enkidu led Gilgamesh from the town of Uruk to the Cedar Forest (Beers 49). This event showed that even though Gilgamesh was a half-god and in the royal family, he was accepting of someone leading him. When they arrived at the Cedar Forest, there was a massive gate that separated the two heroes from Humbaba. When Enkidu opened the gate, his hands became numb, and his face grew pale (Beers 49). Due to this result, Gilgamesh develops into the leader and protects Enkidu from danger. Soon, Gilgamesh and Enkidu were just a couple feet away from Humbaba. Gilgamesh grew very scared of the giant. When the giant smashed Enkidu to near death, Gilgamesh developed from a cautious explorer to a fearless warrior and began to attack Humbaba. Soon after the crushing, Gilgamesh was hovering over Humbaba with an ax and with one perfect arc, Gilgamesh slices the head of Humbaba clean off, and Humbaba dies. (Beers 53). The killing of Humbaba shows the developmental change in Gilgamesh from fear to fearless and barbaric behavior. This epic novel showed how another character could develop another character’s characterization just by being his foil.

In the novel, The Iliad, Achilles, and Hector both encounter developments in their characterization. Achilles is the mightiest warrior of the Greek warriors, and Hector is the commander of the Trojan army (Beers 57). Their mastery explains that Achilles and Hector are both very experienced in war, and they are the best warriors in their army. While Achilles was looking for Hector, Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, told him that they both would kill Hector and bring pride back to their land. Achilles then rejoiced and followed the demands (Beers 59). The acceptance of Athena’s demands shows that Achilles is preparing to fight. Soon after, Athena caught up to Hector and disguised herself as Deiphobus, prince of Troy, and commanded that they go and kill Achilles. Hector rejoiced and agreed (Beers 59). This event was a developmental change in Hector because before this order he was always running from Achilles who was still running after Hector like a “hound in the mountains starts a fawn from its lair” (Beers 58). After the order, Hector became a confident fighter who thought he would have a god on his side. This confidence led him to his fate. This story explains that people should not jump into danger without some knowledge of the risks.

After analyzing the development of characterization in these three novels, it is clear that people can change from personal experiences and encounters. Even though we studied literature that authors produced thousands of years ago, many same literature elements found today appear in these works as well.

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An Analysis of the Contrast of Beliefs Between the West and East in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Iliad, and the Aeneid

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

A Contrast Between Beliefs

Spirituality, religion, and the divine creation of humans have been central topics for many years. From the texts we have read, we see a major distinction between Western and Eastern society’s viewpoints. Western philosophy, as we have seen through our Ancient Greek texts, was focused on the divine, spirituality, and gods. Eastern Philosophy and views from philosophers such as Confucius, revolved around ethics, one’s self, and connecting with nature.

Within The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, and The Aeneid, gods and spirituality are prevalent and given the utmost importance. Odysseus, Achilles, Gilgamesh, and more characters within Homeric texts relied on the gods for almost everything. The gods were in charge of nature, mortals, actions, cities, etc. The gods had the ability to bring about natural disasters and determine a persons place in the afterlife. This gained the gods a tremendous amount of respect and adoration. In Book 24 of the Iliad, when King Priam is speaking he says, “Revere the gods, Achilles! Pity me in my own right….” (145). This quote shows the respect that is expected for the gods during that time. All of the actions of the Trojan War were due to the gods themselves and the roles they played.

As we have read from the texts, we see that there isn’t really a clear outcome for the future of the characters within the Iliad and Aeneied. The future was set to be controlled and predetermined by the gods. No matter how hard people tried, the gods were to decide on everything. A Greek poet named Hesoid who lived around the time of Homer, briefly touched on the importance of gods as well. Hesoid claimed that, “First there is emptiness, then earth, and only then do the gods appear. And, when the gods do appear on the scene, they behave in a rather disorderly way, and often bend the operations of nature according to their whims.” These explanations for the gods can be seen as both philosophical and religion based. It is known that Greek philosophers during the Western time period were focused on primarily both of those two things.

Confucius and most Eastern philosophical teachings weren’t ever too focused on the divine and gods. As mentioned prior, Confucius believed solely on “the realm of the concrete and human” (380). Going more into depth about this, Confucius believed strongly in morality and how humans were the ones who should be in touch with themselves. There were to be no other gods or spirits controlling things. We are in charge of our human capacities and everything that happens to us. He believed that it was crucial to be in tune with our selves and the nature around our Earth. We as humans in nature are all alike but, can be known for the habits of doing good or doing evil. Despite the evil doings of others, Confucius reflects on the love for humanity that we should have. He talks about this many times in The Analects while also further discussing the importance of human nature in humanity. “What nature puts together, habit separates.” (392). I feel as though many Eastern philosophers saw things in that way and how they correlated so they sought out the pursuit of happiness through nature and discovering themselves.

Eastern and Confucian philosophy wanted to emphasize behavior and how an individual should act. For example, it was known that a child should respect their parents and superiors. “A man who respects his parents and his elders would hardly be inclined to defy his superiors. A man who is not inclined to defy his superiors will never foment a rebellion. A gentleman works at the root. Once the root is secured, the Way unfolds. To respect parents and elders is the root of humanity.” (380) Eastern philosophy was also intently focused on maintaining a set balance of life that they completely disregarded outside forces or anything else as having control over every day things. Ideal relationships were seen as balanced and ethically moral if followed by the system and what Confucius talked about.

Unlike what I mentioned before with Western philosophies, Eastern philosophy believed that your future was determined by the choices you made in your daily life and not by gods. There is a very ethical and “zen” way of thinking behind what Confucius and many other Eastern philosophers like Cheng Yi and Gandhi thought. With virtue and piety on the top of the mind, Eastern society realized that life was a journey not meant to be taken lightly. Everything in the universe was somehow connected to each other and you had the ability to change whatever you wanted about it.

Confucius’ Analects dealt with the inner and outward life of a human. The aesthetic that understanding yourself and one’s surroundings led to a happier life was outplayed a lot. Morality and doing “what was right” wasn’t focused on as much in Ancient Western Greek philosophy. We saw heroes defying gods and ultimately facing the consequences. We saw characters begging to gods for a desired outcome. Even the gods themselves begged to other gods. Take for example: in the Aeneid when Venus, Aeneas’s mother, begged Jupiter, king of the gods, to end the Trojans’ suffering. Overall behavior and moral ethics were put aside and were of less importance for the Greek characters within our texts. A lot of pride, arrogance, greed, and power-hungry events took place that the Eastern philosophy would not approve of. Moral power was more significant in Eastern philosophy than the term “power” in Western aspects. Confucius said to, “Put loyalty and faith above everything, and follow justice. That is how one accumulates moral power.” (389). In the Epic of Gilgamesh, power meant everything, but, not in terms of moral power. Gilgamesh wanted to be known as the highest and most admirable man there was. This need for importance was why Gilgamesh set out to kill Humbaba and prove himself to his people. In Eastern philosophical aspects, the need to “prove oneself” would not even be prevailing in the first place.

As you can see, although both Western and Eastern philosophies had common values, the two were very different in a multitude of ways. Eastern philosophy established the real reason behind human existence and what a person’s purpose in the world was. All the while in Western Philosophy, starting off with the Greeks, there were only a few aspects that touched on the human condition and where it all began. Whether a person believed in multiple gods, the divine, or the realm of human nature- there is no denying that a lot can be learned from ancient times and applied to our daily modern life.

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The Epic of Gilgamesh

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh goes between his conscious and unconscious in order to uncover and solve his problems and figure out his own fear of death. Gilgamesh is a king who has negative impact on his kingdom. He forces people to build walls and oppresses and wrongs the people. Throughout the epic, he is struggling with the gods, his kingdom, and most importantly himself. Early stage of Gilgamesh, he lived a life away from consciousness; unable to see his experiences, and for the most part an instinctive, sensory existence. He is unware of a lot of this personality and I called this shadow. The shadow is you, but has the opposite personality. The shadow in the epic is Enkidu, he is completely different from Gilgamesh, he is uncivilized and a beast-like human however they both have authority and vigor.

When Enkidu and the gods had to entered Gilgamesh’s life and fatefully altered his life. Enkidu, half-man/half beast become the best friend of Gilgamesh. Enkidu truly contradictory elements start to show. For example, when Gilgamesh suggested to Cedar Forest and fight the monster Humbaba, Enkidu joins his friend on the adventure. Over the journey, Gilgamesh kept having nightmares, Enkidu acted as an interpreter and always tell him the outcomes are positive. Enkidu became the leader and guided Gilgamesh every time when he freaked out. One solid evidence is when Humbaba pleaded for his life, Enkidu mocked Gilgamesh why he is afraid, “Why my friend, are you whining so pitiably, hiding behind your whimpering?” (5.89-90). And then Enkidu convinced Gilgamesh to kill the monster. This killing ponders me, is Enkidu smart enough in not believing what Humbaba said? Or this is another psychological jealousy on the part of Enkidu when Humbaba’s suggestion that he and Gilgamesh are best friends.

In both ways, Enkidu and Gilgamesh helped and guided each other. Gilgamesh turned into a hero figure, and Enkidu got ahead of his fears. Because of Gilgamesh appearance Enkidu transformed from the wild-man life to an ordinary man life. He thought Gilgamesh as a friend and that is something only human would think. For Gilgamesh, Enkidu’s love and companionship helped Gilgamesh realized his consciousness which Gilgamesh had been cruel. On the way, back home after the journey, Gilgamesh met Ishar, the goddess of fertility. She wanted him to marry her, but Gilgamesh refused and insulted her. Ishtar is a negative character, who caused Gilgamesh to demolish himself with the Bull of Heaven incident. Because Enkidu killed the bull and caused his death. With Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh went crazy and eventually took Enkidu’s shadow and those characteristics. Gilgamesh took on the beast-like personality when Enkidu first displayed where he now searches for immortality shown here the fear of death but he failed becoming immortal. When he returned he however won his wish of immortality but in a different meaning, he found his true self through the journey. By encountering all the experiences represented his unconscious dreams and events and he discovered himself through his unconscious findings.

Their relationship never changed, not even after Enkidu’s death. Before he died, Enkidu cursed and denied “I did not kill the Cedar (from the forest)” (7.22). From the psychological perspective, Enkidu is going through the stage of denial and blame others here, is some very human traits. However, when the god Shamash pointed out he wouldn’t have met Gilgamesh, Enkidu’s emotions changed and now he blessed Shamhat and accepted his fate as the price of his friendship. In conclusion, Gilgamesh transformed to be a wise and fair leader. His reformation proves that death is not unpleasant. The true meaning of life is follow the right path and have determination. This epic shows that any individual can discover their inner mind through understanding of different experiences and the inner self will break into individuals’ unconscious.

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A Theme Of Death In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Death is something most all people have experienced. Whether it be someone you were close to, or someone you hardly knew, strange emotions evoke. Being the diverse species we are as humans and knowing that death is a part of life, everyone has contrasting views about this melancholy concept. The narrative Gilgamesh explains this idea to the reader by following the protagonist on his journey to truly grasp the meaning of such a bitter subject.

Gilgamesh, written by anonymous and translated by Herbert Mason is speculated to have been constructed around 2000 BC in Mesopotamia, making it the oldest known work of world literature. Herbert Mason translated this epic so it could be extensively understood by the English-speaking community. The poem is about a king named Gilgamesh, who rules over a city called Uruk. He befriends Enkidu, who is represented as a symbol of nature and lived in harmony with the animals. Enkidu once had animal-like traits but later becomes human and accompanies Gilgamesh on a journey into the forest of Humbaba which ultimately kills him.

Gilgamesh’s view often fluctuates when it comes to the idea of death. Gilgamesh’s perspective on death evolves throughout the narrative and is shown in examples, such as when Gilgamesh is unaware of the fate of human-beings before meeting Enkidu. Furthermore, His opinion develops when Enkidu is killed due to Gilgamesh’s poor judgment. Finally, Gilgamesh’s viewpoint finalizes and when the snake devours the flower forcing him to accept the death as a part of live. To be human, according to the epic poem, means to understand the fatal flaw we as people are unable to overcome.

First of all, in the beginning of the poem, the author illustrates the idea that Gilgamesh is naive to the concept of the human condition, with death as one of the primary characteristics. Gilgamesh embarks on an arrogant and pointless quest, and decides to do so because of his lack of fear and absence of knowledge about death due to his stature. When travelling to the cedar forest on his irrational quest, he responds to Enkidu’s fear in a very cocky way because of Enkidu’s logical outlook on the situation. Mason builds on the suggestion of Gilgamesh’s fearlessness when he begins to write about Enkidu paralyzing his arm when touching the gate to the cedar forest, “ Would you want to stay behind because of that?… …Forget your fear of death. I will go before you and protect you… …Only gods are immortal anyways / Sighed Gilgamesh… …If I die / I will at least have the reward / Of having people say: He died in war / Against Humbaba”. The previous quote defends the idea that Gilgamesh has not personally experienced the passing of a loved one in his lifetime; therefore, he reinforces the opinion that death should not be feared. Gilgamesh also patronizes Enkidu when Gilgamesh says he can protect him, which leads the reader to contemplate Gilgamesh’s excessive pride which blinds him from the logical fear of dying. He believes, with the exception of the gods, everyone will succumb to their demise eventually, so why fear the inevitable?

The evidence also raises the sense that Gilgamesh is unable to fathom the meaning of death when he explains he will have the reward of people praising him for dying fighting a vicious beast. Bringing up his death in a nonchalant way reveals Gilgamesh’s absence of knowledge about his inevitable fate. Gilgamesh is unsophisticated when it comes to human death because of his blinding stature and sheltered lifestyle as king. This excessive pride and arrogance will get the best of him which will encourage him to change his perception of the concept of death. Furthermore, Gilgamesh’s developing view on death continues into his friendship with Enkidu. His relation with his friend enables his evolving understanding when Enkidu dies as a result of his senseless and irrational decisions, leaving him with the lasting impact and forcing him to experience the difficulties of death. Therefore, Gilgamesh’s opinion develops rapidly.

After Enkidu’s fateful demise, Gilgamesh is frustrated with the death of his beloved companion and begins to undergo the grieving process. He is angered by death because of human mortality and how arbitrary it seems. He is also angry at himself for going on such an unreasonable quest which as a result killed his friend. His anger later develops into sorrow which becomes so intense that Gilgamesh begin to change drastically along with his opinions. Mason alludes to this transformation in the poem when he writes, “All that is left to one who grieves / Is convalescence. No change of heart of spiritual / Conversion, for the heart has changed / And the soul has been converted / To a thing that sees / How much it costs to lose a friend it loved”. The previous quote advances Gilgamesh and his point of view remarkably. He learns that coping with death takes time which can change him as a person as well as his views, just like when Mason writes about the conversion of one’s soul and change of heart. His understanding of how easily an incoherent choice can affect human mortality beings to change his thought process. He realizes that life is fragile and more meaningful, more than he has ever imagined. As a result of Gilgamesh’s unreasonable decisions, he begins to realize that his actions can affect others negatively, which adds to his interpretation of death. For Gilgamesh to put his actions into consideration, he can further learn how it affects others. Contemplating his actions relates to his understanding about death so he can be more attentive and reasonable when it comes to risking something as delicate as human life.

Finally, Gilgamesh ultimately realizes that death is unavoidable and comes to terms with death in a bitter but happy ending. He gains the insight on the concept of death by learning immortality is unreachable. Gilgamesh reaches the end of the transformation of his opinion on the fateful demise of humans when he reaches the end of his journey to bring his friend Enkidu back to life. He goes on an elongated expedition when he finally reaches Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim’s name means “he who saw life,” and he has survived the great flood created by Ea. During the venture to Shurupak, Gilgamesh only has one thing on his mind: to bring Enkidu back to life. He is not yet aware of the entire meaning of the death, and believes he can revive a mortal. Utnapishtim tells him a secret about a flower that will grant new life, and Gilgamesh rushes to find it to once again rejoice with Enkidu. Mason supports this thought when he writes, “When he saw the plant of rise rose color and ambrosial / Simmering in the water like a prism / Of the sunlight, he seized it… …His naked body glistened and refreshed, / The plant was gone; the discarded skin / Of a serpent was all he saw, He sat / Down on the ground, and wept”.

When Mason writes about Gilgamesh seizing the plant in the previous quote, it shows his greed and desire for something extremely powerful, such as immortality. By quickly and forcibly grabbing it, in that moment he has forgotten all he has learned about accepting death and his personality explained at beginning of the epic is exposed. When Mason writes about his naked body and his sorrow after the flower is gone, it clarifies that he is vulnerable at that time and he is forced to learn and accept death purely with grief rather than anger or challenge. Gilgamesh masters knowledge on all aspects of death by personally experiencing it. But, most importantly, he gains a logical outlook after learning to accept death for what it is and no longer making a valiant effort to challenge it.

In conclusion, Gilgamesh’s opinion about death in The Epic of Gilgamesh goes through transformations throughout the poem. He starts out with insufficient knowledge, but as the narrative progresses, he experiences more which deepens his outlook on human mortality. This epic tells us, through the faults Gilgamesh undergoes, we must accept human mortality as a part of life, as the balance of nature would be destroyed if we were to overcome death. Although it takes Gilgamesh time to understand such a complex idea, by the end of the poem it leaves the reader with the lasting impression that life is fragile and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

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Review The Epic Of Gilgamesh

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

One of the earliest pieces of literature which has lived on into the modern era is the Epic of Gilgamesh from ancient Mesopotamia. It was written as a poem on 12 tablets in the Akkadian language in 2750 B.C.E. after years of being conveyed through storytelling by the Sumerian people. Storytelling was used by Sumerians in the early times to orally convey historical stories. The poem has no known author, but it is possible that it was conveyed through storytelling as a means of entertainment, and a way to teach important cultural values and history through Gilgamesh’s quest for eternality. The poem conveys the life story of Gilgamesh who was part divine and part human king of Uruk as he struggled to accept the concept of immortality.

The beginning of the poem portrays Gilgamesh as a ruler who abuses his power. Death did not concern him. He lived as though he was immortal. He would draft the sons of the community for his army and exploit young women. This led to the inhabitants of Uruk asking the gods to intervene. The goddess Arura creates Enkidu – “panther of wilderness”– to balance out the power of Gilgamesh. They become the best of friends after a battle between them called by the people of Uruk as they wanted to be defended from Enkidu. As Enkidu and Gilgamesh go through adventures of fighting different battles, the gods decide that Enkidu must die. The loss of his closest friend made Gilgamesh realize that he was just like Enkidu and would die a similar, meaningless death. This is shown by Gilgamesh stating, “Am I not like him? Will I lie down, never to get up again?” As Enkidu dies, he states that his “afterlife will be a place of sorrow.” This conveys that Enkidu was not proud of the way he led his life and that might have been what prompted Gilgamesh to think of the fact that he was mortal. But the bigger question is: Does he even deserve immortality after raping young women whenever he pleased and treating his people as he did? This question might have been what led him to search for eternal youth.

As Gilgamesh realizes that he could die, he decided to conquer immortality. He meets Siduri – a tavern keeper – who sends him to find Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim had been granted immortality by the gods but Gilgamesh will have to go through several obstacles to reach him. After a harsh journey, Gilgamesh finally finds Utnapishtim who tells him that no human can be immortal. But there is a plant that restores youth. After finding the plant, Gilgamesh decides to “have an old man eat the plant to test it”. This statement shows Gilgamesh’s fear of death as well as his true personality in having an old man test it. He could test it himself because it was never known if the plant worked. It could have been poisonous, but Gilgamesh only cared about his eternal youth. The plant is later taken by a snake while Gilgamesh is taking a bath. Therefore, it is not confirmed if the plant worked or not. This shows us that while Gilgamesh could easily battle visible forces like Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven, he did not have the power to battle immortality which is the unknown. It does not have a physical form like Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven. Gilgamesh finally realizes that he is mortal and lacks any good deeds to show for himself, which brings back Enkidu’s final statement: “Afterlife will be a place of sorrow.” This statement could also be a foreshadowing to how Gilgamesh feels when he lost his last chance at immortality and “sat down, weeping.” This gives the audience the lesson that they should focus on being a good being instead of being remembered. The serpent taking the plant freed Gilgamesh from his obsession with immortality.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem that speaks to the human impulse to dread death through Gilgamesh’s journey. When Gilgamesh got back to Uruk, he asked Urshanabi to walk around and “examine the foundation” of the walls of Uruk. This conveys the notions that Gilgamesh finally saw a way that he could leave a legacy behind to be remembered and that was through ensuring Uruk always had a solid and strong foundation. This poem leaves the lesson behind that no human is immortal, but there are ways to be remembered, just like Gilgamesh is still remembered today as a great king. 

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