Monkey v. Epic Of Gilgamesh

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Throughout many texts in literature, a hero can be seen in conflict with himself and mortality. The theme of mortality vs. immortality is very prominent in both the novels Monkey and The Epic of Gilgamesh. Both the main characters in these novels are in search of immortality, though they both take very different approaches. These stories are dissimilar in the many ways in which the character goes about trying to achieve immortality. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh attempts to find a way to preserve him, after he realizes the affects of the death of his “brother”. Monkey takes on a very different approach in that he tries to use trickery to achieve his wish of immortality. Through Gilgamesh’s goal of preserving his life and Monkey’s goal of achieving absolute immortality through his well thought out ways, both characters begin their epic search of immortality in very distinctive lands. In both of these works, the main goal is the same…the search for immortality. Although these stories share the same theme, they are dissimilar in how the characters go about their process. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh appears to be fearless at first. He is very stubborn as well, this is why the gods created Enkidu, Gilgamesh’s “equal”. Enkidu is soon adopted as Gilgamesh’s brother. Throughout their journey together, Gilgamesh grows more and more fearful of death. His fearful attitude and second thoughts become even greater after the death of Enkidu. Because of Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh sets out in search of immortality. Though meeting Utnapishtim, he discovered how it was possible to achieve eternal life. When the finally meet, Gilgamesh states, “I look at you now, Utnapishtim, and your appearance is no different from mine; there is nothing strange in your features. I thought I should find you like a hero prepared for battle, but you lie here taking your ease on your back.

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