A Summary of Gilgamesh

1723 WordsDec 21, 20137 Pages
The Epic of Gilgamesh is notably one of the oldest surviving works of literature ever written. It gives us a beautiful insight into the lives of people that lived approximately around 18th Century BC in ancient Mesopotamia. This epic tells us the story of Gilgamesh who is a demi god (two thirds god and one third human) and rules over a city state by the name of Uruk. The Epic is also a moving tale of friendship between Gilgamesh, the demigod king of Uruk, and a wild man named Enkidu. Accepting one’s own mortality is the central theme of the epic as Gilgamesh and Enkidu find their highest purpose of existence in the pursuit of eternal life. The entire notion of immortality is also one of the primary ideas explored by the characters in this epic. The epic begins with Gilgamesh terrorizing the people of Uruk. Clearly, the relationship between the ruled and the ruler is not good in Uruk. Although Gilgamesh was supernatural and divine in body and mind, he reigned over his kingdom as a cruel tyrant. He lorded over his subjects, raping any woman he liked, whether she was the daughter of a nobleman or the wife of one of his warriors. He accomplished his construction projects with inhumane forced labor, with the rest of his exhausted subjects suffering under his oppression. Soon, his subjects had had enough of his savage authoritarian rule and called out to the sky god, Anu, for help. In response, Anu told, the goddess of creation, Aruru, to make a being, equivalent by strength to Gilgamesh, to stop him. Soon after, Aruru created Enkidu, a beastly wild man with the strength of several beasts with the intention to end Gilgamesh’s brutality. However, after being seduced by a harlot, sent to hinder Enkidu’s mission, from the temple of love in Uruk, Enkidu loses his strength and wildness and gains wisdom and understanding and becomes a regular human. The harlot then

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