Gilgamesh Essay

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ENGL 2310

4 June 2012

The Journeys That Transformed King Gilgamesh

A journey can be described as the displacement from one position to another. A journey starts from one place or point and ends at another point or place. There are several journeys that can be undertaken by a person in life; this journey can be described as being physical, where someone moves from one place to another or the journey can be emotional, this is where a person emotionally transforms from one emotional position to another. A person can also experience a moral/ethical journey where he experiences moral transformations as he lives his/her life. In Gilgamesh epic, there are several journeys that are experienced by the King Gilgamesh as he rules over Uruk. However this essay describes some of the moral/ethical, emotional, and physical journeys that the king undertakes and how it has an effect on his life. Is there a relationship between these journeys undertaken by the king and his love for Enkidu, the unexpected stranger whom he befriended? This is the main question of discussion in this paper.

There are a few ethical journeys that are undertaken in this epic. Gilgamesh is a tyrannical king who rules by the use of force. “As king, Gilgamesh was a tyrant to his people. He demanded, …the privilege of sleeping with their brides before the husbands were permitted” (Mason 15). On top of this, he overworks his people for no particular reason. After becoming friends with Enkidu, he finds more purpose to his life than just abusing the citizens of Uruk. He actually seeks out to do things for his people that would make them proud. “We go to kill the evil one, Humbaba” (Mason 27). Gilgamesh undergoes a transformation from a bad king who used to take all his peoples things to one who fights for their survival. This can be understood as an ethical journey as the king moves from being self-indulgent to giving and protective. While this ethical journey and subsequent transformation...
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