Gilgamesh Essay

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Topical Essay 1

The story of “Gilgamesh” depicts all of the heroic triumphs and heart-breaking pitfalls a heroic narrative should depict to be able to relate to today’s audience. However, “Gilgamesh” was once considered a lost and forgotten piece of literature for thousands of years, so there is a tremendous gap between the time it was created and the time it was translated into language that today’s audience can understand. That gap in history makes several aspects of the story of “Gilgamesh” strange and unfamiliar because what we now know about ancient Middle Eastern cultures and languages is a lot less than what we know about the cultures that prospered after ancient Middle Eastern cultures. Much of the content in the story of “Gilgamesh” is very familiar content to today’s audience but just about all of the characters in the story are not known by the average modern reader of today unless they have already read the story. This is another result of the time gap in the history of the translation of “Gilgamesh.” Figures from later stories are more popular and well known to people who haven’t even read those stories.

One example of the story of “Gilgamesh” being strange was when Enkidu was created by the gods’ to counter the harsh and egotistical ways of Gilgamesh. This was very strange to me because it was so unexpected. Normally a harsh and brutal king would die violently or be stopped by someone close to him. It was odd that someone had to be created to counter Gilgamesh being a tyrannical ruler. Later in the story Enkidu’s true purpose of being created was revealed. The gods’ didn’t necessarily want Enkidu to destroy Gilgamesh in order to stop him from being a harsh ruler; their intent was for Enkidu to develop a strong friendship with him. Even after discovering why Enkidu was really created I still thought his creation was very strange because I have never read a story which contains something of that nature. Another part of the story of “Gilgamesh” I...
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