"The Search for Everlasting Life" in the Epic of Gilgamesh & "Ecclesiastes" from the Old Testament

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"The Search for Everlasting Life" in the Epic of Gilgamesh & "Ecclesiastes" from the Old Testament I truly believe in lifelong learning. Ideas I had as a young adult have been expounded upon as I continue to get older, and I am continually astonished with the knowledge I gain through life experiences and formal education. In just one day in Humanities class I learned how profound the use of certain imagery was in literature, and this corresponded to all that I knew about the bible. I have never accepted the bible as fact, even as a young adult, but rather stories that necessitated self-evaluation to deduce meaning for the individual. These two works, chapter four “The Search for Everlasting Life” in the Epic of Gilgamesh (Epic) and “Ecclesiastes” from the Old Testament (Testament) are great examples of literary works with far more complex meaning than the text conveys. The comparisons I found between the two would be vanity and the permanence of death, and the contrast to be the tone in which it was represented. In the Testament it is evident throughout that all man’s endeavors are in vain, and regardless if the acts are righteous or wicked they were done out of vanity. This relates to the Epic because Gilgamesh endures all the trials and tribulations to reach Utnapishtim to ultimately have eternal life. Gilgamesh also continually defends his appearance with the same speech to every important person he meets, worrying so much about how he is perceived instead of what needs to be done. In the Testament there is also a prevailing theme of death, and it is the only true certainty in life. At the end of the Epic when Gilgamesh meets Utnapishtim, Utnapishtim states amongst many things that “there is no permanence,” and continues to emphasize that death is a certainty. The stories have some comparisons, but I feel contrast significantly in tone. In the

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