Gilgamesh, a Changing Hero

404 Words2 Pages
People may have their own personal definition or idea of what a hero is. Joseph Campbell’s monomyth defines a hero as an individual who goes through the Hero’s Journey, a pattern of phases a hero progresses through in a story. In short, the Hero’s Journey consists of three main phases: the departure, the initiation, and the return. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh goes through these phases of a Hero’s Journey. I personally define a hero as an individual who is selfless, brave, powerful, and willing to help others. In some ways, Gilgamesh and Enkidu reflect my idea of a hero. Being selfless means that one cares more about others than him/herself. Gilgamesh is the king of Uruk, and as a king, he should care a lot about his people, but in the story, he ignores his own people. Gilgamesh is described as “a tyrant,” a cruel and oppressive ruler. He constantly forces people into hardships and difficulties in which he completely ignores. Gilgamesh sometimes orders his people to rebuild Uruk’s wall, only for it to decay and be rebuilt again. He doesn’t appreciate the work his people do for him, yet he still holds his status as the king of Uruk. Enkidu is introduced as a man raised by animals. He helps other animals by freeing them from traps Every hero must be brave and courageous in order to face obstacles. Gilgamesh does not hesitate when he insists to kill Humbaba, the guardian of the cedar forest. He has not experienced the tragedy of death yet, so he is shown to be apathetic towards death. Enkidu is terrified of Humbaba. He learned to never enter the cedar forest because meeting Humbaba could lead to one’s death. Enkidu over-exaggerates the power of Humbaba, saying that Humbaba’s voice would drown out sound and his mouth spits fire that leaves nothing alive. Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu were brave enough to fight and kill the Bull of Heaven, which “descended to the
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