Nature, Playground Of The Gods Essay

1587 WordsNov 4, 20107 Pages
Nature, Playground of the Gods In the epic of Gilgamesh, man has a very close and personal relationship with the gods in the sense that the gods inhabit the same plane as man. This singular fact plays an important part in defining the role of man on the planet. Although the gods exist in corporeal forms, they are far from being human beings. This is displayed mainly through the power of that they wield, including immortality, the ability to create beings and to control the world and its forces. One of the most visibly recognizable signs of the power of the gods is found in nature. Throughout the epic, the differences between man and god are shown through examples using nature. At these times, nature serves as the great divider that separates man from the gods. Primarily, nature is seen as the enormous power that the gods wield; a great power of such capacity that man has no control over it himself. Throughout Gilgamesh, the gods actually utilize an earth shattering power, but also at other times, their power is merely visualized as a force of nature. A large portion of the symbolism of the god’s power is found in the forest guardian Humbaba. Initially, one would not think of Humbaba as a portion of nature, but he was placed in the Cedar Forest, which “is sacred to Enlil”[1], by Enlil to protect it. This relationship with the forest makes him just as much a part of the forest as the trees. While on his journey to the Cedar Forest, Gilgamesh has a series of dreams that are symbolic of his future conflict with the great Humbaba. In these dreams, the power of Humbaba, imbued by the god Enlil, is always shown as a great force within nature. Gilgamesh’s dreams consist of seeing “a huge mountain [looming], so huge that [Gilgamesh and Enkidu] were as small as flies. Then the mountain fell down on top of [them]”[2], then again, in his next dream, seeing the “ huge

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