Immortality and Fate: The tale of Gilgamesh
The idea of immortality may be out of our reach physically, but it may be attainable by other means, Such is the focus of attention in the ancient Sumerian legend entitles Gilgamesh, an epic written circa 2000 B.C. on clay tablets and that pre-dates the bible and Homeric tales (98). An epic is a long narrative poem about a hero, who overcomes adversities, both physical and psychological, and whose actions ultimately reflect the moral values cherished by a particular culture. This literary artifact allows readers to perceive the similarities of the human condition across time and depicts a culture that praised friendship, warned against vanity, and respected the human quest for immortality (90). Friendship is an important concept in ancient Sumerian culture because it represents love and respect. The relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh is special and should be admired. The pair was able to connect after having troubled times prior to the beautiful relationship. Quote: “Gilgamesh bent his knees, with his other foot on the ground,
his anger abated and he turned his chest away.
They kissed each other and became friends.”(2.103-109, 129) Gilgamesh is a very powerful and prominent figure in Uruk, being the strongest and most handsome man in the world. After some time, Gilgamesh's advantages and privileges have gone to his head, and he spends most of his time wearing out the men of the city with constant athletic contests and sexually exploiting the young women, he becomes a tyrant. Leaders and gods, including Aruru create a human to basically whip him back into shape, creating Enkidu. Enkidu lives in the woods, totally uncivilized and wild. Afterward, Enkidu finds that he can no longer keep up with the animals, but that his mind has been opened. When Enkidu begins to live with another human, Shamhat, she one day mentions the name Gilgamesh to Enkidu only then realizing he must have a friend. Quote: "Let...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document