The True Value of Life
Sometimes, in order for you to change, it takes losing something so dear to you. This is proven in one of the oldest stories ever written, “The Epic of Gilgamesh”. Although the main plot is focused on Gilgamesh losing is closest friend and going on a journey of immortality, by studying Gilgamesh’s idea of avoiding death, we can see throughout the story that death is inevitable, lack of humility is an issue, and the symbol of the serpent.
Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk, is a mighty king that built magnificent temple towers and high walls that surrounded the city. However, he came about these building projects by forced labor. The gods heard the people of Uruk’s pleas, so the gods created Enkidu, who is just as magnificent as Gilgamesh, to challenge him. The gods’ plan took a different turn when the two became best of friends. Gilgamesh’s happy adventurous life soon takes a tragic turn when Enkidu falls ill and dies. Gilgamesh now fears for his own life. Heartbroken, Gilgamesh sets out on a journey to find the key to eternal life. His journey leads him to Utnapishtim, who he and his family’s lives were spared by Ea, the god of wisdom, from the flood. As a result of this, Enlil, the god of earth, rewards Utnapishtim with eternal life. Gilgamesh assumes Utnapishtim can grant him eternal life as well, so he puts him to a test. Gilgamesh has to stay awake for a week; this is a trick because immortals don’t ever sleep. Gilgamesh immediately fails. As a second chance Utnapishtim gives him a plant of youth. On his journey back home a snake steals the plant while Gilgamesh is in the pond. Gilgamesh returns to Uruk empty handed; however, he returns as a different man. The greatest lesson Gilgamesh learns is that death is inescapable. Siduri, the goddess of wine disguised as the tavern keeper, warns him of seeking immortality. “As for you, Gilgamesh, let your belly be full, make merry day and night. Of each day make a feast of rejoicing. Day...
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