Gilgamesh was a pitiable character in that his behavior was oppressive, prideful and egotistical in his actions against his people of Uruk. Gilgamesh’s actions displayed poor qualities of a true leader and he abused his powers by using them against his people. An admirable trait of a great leader that is never expressed is loyalty, which Gilgamesh did not show to his people by sleeping with their wives and daughters. He excessively worked his people with forced labor along with exhausting subjects and nobleman, demanding the construction of high walls around the city and the care of his orchards. Besides his physical traits, Gilgamesh did not display even the most typical characteristics of a great leader or ruler. This all of course before Enkidu entered the story.
Being challenged and humbled after the encounter of Enkidu, transformed Gilgamesh into a different character. By Enkidu being close to equal with Gilgamesh, showed him that his power was not to be abused which made him a better leader. Gilgamesh displayed humility and altruism after the death of Enkidu and the visit with Utnapishtim. He realizes that his magnificent powers were his closest thing to immortality in which any mortal can aspire. Overall, Gilgamesh’s physical traits alone would make him a spectacular individual, but after building his character, he displays wisdom and optimism. A figure that many can only imagine which shows why he is a very important, heroic example in literature.
For Ancient Mesopotamians, the message of The Epic of Gilgamesh was that even the great, powerful and almighty Gilgamesh could not escape immortality. Gilgamesh, who defied the gods and tried to beat them at their own games, could not escape the God’s wrath. This story could possibly of been a way for the powerful to put the people of Mesopotamia in check. In order to keep the people in check and to trust the nobles and the kings, this story was to influence them into to questioning their power. Another...
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