Topics: Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry, Ishtar Pages: 3 (1042 words) Published: April 8, 2013
“The Epic of Gilgamesh”
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a compilation of stories of ancient time which have some similarities with the Old Testament. The poem was originally written in Akkadian by Sin-Leqi-Unninni on eleven tablets with a broken up appendix on a twelfth. The poem is unique because it names its author, which is uncommon for literary works that we have from of this time. Comparable to most of the stories from this time (2700 B.C.), journeys and events are an integral part of the stories to express their messages. Unlike the majority of these stories, the Epic of Gilgamesh illustrates a life of a real king. Gilgamesh, the king, ruled Uruk which was a Summerian state; he is depicted as part god and man being very powerful and magnificent. He was said to be two-thirds god and one-third man. In the beginning he is a ruthless ruler, and does as he pleases as a tyrant, usually with misdemeanors sexually. The gods retaliated against Gilgamesh by creating Enkidu who was a man with equal abilities and attributes. The story involves several journeys and this secondary character Enkidu who was sent by the gods. His life story explains how he grew up with animals and that he was one of them until he later betrayed them by being with a woman named Shamhat who was sent by a man that wanted to see more of Enkidu. After he lost his animal family he traveled to the city of Uruk lured by the luxuries of the human world, and it is also where Gilgamesh met him as his rival. Upon his arrival the two meet up in a brawl because Enkidu wanted to stop Gilgamesh from forcing his way upon stopping the marriage of a woman. They soon after become best friends as planned by the gods and venture into a forbidden forest to steal trees they were not supposed to even be near. As the story goes on Enkidu voyages the underworld, Gilgamesh travels to the Mashu Mountain, and then after Gilgamesh goes to the only survivor of the flood that wiped out human-kind, Utanapishtim....
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