Epic of Gilgamesh: a Hero

Topics: Epic of Gilgamesh, Leadership, Enkidu Pages: 4 (1617 words) Published: September 28, 2008
People have been fascinated by tales of heroism for centuries. In ancient Mesopotamia, heroes give people hope and comfort, and fill them with strength. Ancient Mesopotamia is filled with tales of heroes- mighty warriors battling monsters, men ready to risk life and limb to save their true love or to fight for their nation. Still, there is a great difficulty that lies in defining what a hero truly is. Strength alone does not make a hero; nor does intelligence. Moreover, the Epic of Gilgamesh truly defines the definition of a hero. Gilgamesh is portrayed as a true hero through his skill, intelligence, willingness to die, reverence, and his respect for death. Throughout the entire epic, Gilgamesh demonstrates outrageous skill as a warrior and leader. “Gilgamesh is strong to perfection.” “He is an awesome beast with unmatched strength and a chant that fosters armies.” He leads his tribe into battle fearlessly and defeats everyone they come into battle with, it is said that, “Gilgamesh’s tribe is invincible, and aroused by small insults.” This shows his remarkable leadership ability, in that his tribe is eager to fight knowing that their King will not let them down. He shows his great strength by fighting the mighty beast Humbaba. Even such an enemy was still no match for Gilgamesh’s extreme skill. He was able to slay the beast and return home safely. Again he shows his fighting skills when he makes Ishtar mad at him and she tells Anu to release the might bull to go and trample Gilgamesh. Again Gilgamesh was triumphant in battle and in an attempt to rid his city of the harmful bull he, “plunged his sword into the throat held fast by Enkidu.” Yet again, Gilgamesh shows his strength during his journey to Utnapishtim when he climbs the double cliff up Mt. Mashu. When he reaches the top, the poison scorpion guard said to him: “No mortal man has ever come to know what you seek here. Not one of your kind has come so far.” The scorpion guard was so amazed by his amazing...
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