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Gilgamesh

By 12cunderwood Oct 15, 2012 436 Words
Gilgamesh Essay
In many stories throughout history, certain symbols are used to enhance a reader's imagination to help visualize events that are happening. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the anonymous author uses symbols, such as Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven, to represent the fear and struggle that the characters experience in the story. Throughout the Epic of Gilgamesh, the characters are faced with obstacles that symbolize fear and struggle in the reader's life. In the context of the ongoing battle of good versus evil, the author allows good to prevail in spite of Gilgamesh’s internal conflicts. Gilgamesh views Humbaba as a representative of that which he held in the highest regard (perhaps to the extent of reverence), because of Gilgamesh’s relationship with his deities. Enkidu helped Gilgamesh realize that in the scheme of good versus evil it is in the interest of humanity that he has no choice but to destroy Humbaba as he is the quintessential presence of evil. The author uses Humbaba as a symbol of duplicity. The hypocrisy associated with Humbaba self-preservation is the basis of his deceit. The essence of truth is the destruction of hypocrisy which exemplifies evil, therefore the death of that which embodies these traits creates the basis for the epic hero. In spite of Gilgamesh’s early success against the elements of evil his conflict is far from over. While he has overcome his fear and did what he felt was in the overall best interest, his conflict is far from over. Notwithstanding Gilgamesh’s successes in regards to Humbaba, he is still castigated for his actions by being attacked by the Bull of Heaven as ordered by Ishtar. The bull of heaven being sent down and ordered to kill Gilgamesh in a fit of vengeance represents the power and authority the gods have. The reader can relate easily to the battle of Gilgamesh and the Bull of Heaven in that it is a representation of the struggle to choose wisely and the consequences of such choices. The vindictive nature of the gods is the epitome of the success and motivation of Gilgamesh. The monsters in The Epic of Gilgamesh are symbolic of conflict in the reader’s life, and their destruction is equally symbolic of how one can vanquish his own struggles and fears. The author uses these monsters and battles to parallel into one’s own life and trigger the imagination of the audience. Events and techniques such as this have been used all throughout history as an effective approach to pull at the heartstrings of the reader and conjure personal emotion, relevance, and relevance to stories.

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