the notion of the monster.
The stereotypical image of the monster' is generally viewed as some form of ogre,
for example the ogre found in the fairy tale Jack and the beanstalk is an indication of many
people's view. Other accepted stereotypes of monsters are found in mythology or legends,
the Cyclops in Greek myth being another example, with its one eye and broad body, the
Cyclops is a picture of fear. The aim of this essay is to identify whether "The Epic of
Gilgamesh" successfully highlights the accepted' idea of the monster usually found in Epic
tales, and also whether any other characters portray traits which are often associated with
ogres and giants. These traits are reflected in the text through action, words or the fear of
In "The Epic of Gilgamesh", Humbaba the guardian of the forest is the monster'
figure within the text. Humbaba is protecting his territory, and through Gilgamesh's
description, he is portrayed as a beast. "When [Humbaba] roars it is like the torrent of the
storm, his breath is like fire, and his jaws are death itself". This interpretation, as well as
Gilgamesh's use of the words "Ferocious" and "Fear" creates an image of Humbaba as a
Monster. Gilgamesh uses vivid imagery to portray Humbaba as the giant that he is. Even the
name Humbaba' means Hugeness', which indicates to the reader the notion of a monster.
In the real sense of the word, Humbaba is a monster' in the way in which he is not human.
This does not necessarily suggest that Humbaba depicts the characteristics usually
associated with beasts of his type. The language used by Humbaba indicates he is harmless,
just looking to execute his orders to guard the forest:
Gilgamesh, let me speak. I have never known a mother, no, nor a father who reared me. I was born of the mountain, he reared me, and Enlil made me... [continues]
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