The Epic of Gilgamesh

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Running head: THE EPIC OF Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh
Barbara A Karnes
New MexicoCommunity College

The Epic of Gilgamesh
The epic of Gilgamesh is story of love, meaning, companionship, the search for immortality and what it means to be human. Consequently, it is not only an epic story that conveys the beliefs and philosophies of the Mesopotamian civilization and Sumerian culture, but it is also a timeless, classic tale of spiritual pilgrimage that explores universal themes that transcend its cultural and historical context, making this an enduring and relevant story for any age. Gilgamesh is created by the gods. He is two thirds god and one third man. Although Gilgamesh is considered a god, he is also mortal. He is the king of Uruk. Gilgamesh did not value nor have compassion for his people. He raped his subjects’ daughters and killed their sons. As a consequence, the gods create Enkidu as a companion for Gilgamesh. Enkidu lives in the wilderness among the beasts. While living in the wilderness he saves the beasts by destroying the traps set by the hunters. Enkidu’s journey out of the wilderness with Gilgamesh.leads to his death. Gilgamesh, distraught over his companion’s death, goes on a search for everlasting life. Gilgamesh continues his journey to Dilmun in search of Upnapishtim (who is Gilgamesh’s father) the only mortal that gods have given everlasting life. From the mortal man Gilgamesh is told that there is no permanence in life. . Gilgamesh’s journey leads him to the realization that he has lost the ability to live forever, that the ultimate fate of all humans is death. Gilgamesh at the end of his journey invites Urshanabi to view the greatness of Uruk, the architectural and organizational achievement that assures his cultural immortality. In like manner, the Sumerians completely disappeared as s people. Their language, however, lived on as the language of culture. Their writings, their business organization, their...
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