Gilgamesh: The Fraudulent Hero

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The Fraudulent Hero James Dean once said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.” These words evidently never once crossed the mind of the so-called “Hero” Gilgamesh. He wasted much of his life searching for a way to be immortal. Little did he know, he would not achieve immortality by living forever, but by being immortalized through the power of literature. In a sense he did accomplish what he strived for, just not exactly how he would have hoped. It is probably better this way because he is considered a hero with no foundation to back it up. Truthfully, he is quite the opposite of what it takes to be a hero. He lacks chivalry, true bravery, thoughtfulness, perseverance, and caution. In fact, he is a tyrannical, cowardice, selfish, weak, and rash excuse for a king. Gilgamesh has been wrongfully inducted into the idea of what a hero, leader, and king should be. Honestly, who would want to live under a man lacking so much in character? Heroic leaders come in all sizes, from Napoleon Bonaparte to Abraham Lincoln. It is not the size or physical strength that matters, but the ability to be a noble and just leader. Gilgamesh took advantage of his position as a king by abusing his power to exercise “jus primae noctis.” Wettlaufer, the author of one analytical view of the…show more content…
It is through his reckless and careless actions that he inadvertently kills Enkidu. He disregards advice and selfishly goes to battle the Bull of Heaven. A true hero knows when to use his head and consider his actions for the welfare of others. In Ambrose’s biography of President Eisenhower he writes, “There’s a difference between being reckless and accepting risks. Reckless people don’t care about risks…they don’t even think about them.” (141). This careless and reckless type of behavior occurs even today. Everyone knows not to drink and drive, but people still do and selfishly put the lives of others at

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