Preview

Gilgamesh: a Hero's Journey

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
1523 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Gilgamesh: a Hero's Journey
2/29/12
Gilgamesh the Hero Gilgamesh, written by David Ferry, illustrates a story about a man who knows everything, but continues to try and learn more. Although Gilgamesh may be arrogant, he still remains a great ruler and commander of Uruk. Throughout the book, the adventures of Gilgamesh fit Joseph Campbell’s idea of the hero’s journey. After analyzing the pieces to the hero’s journey, Gilgamesh is proven to be a true hero because his journey parallels that of the hero’s journey described by Campbell. The latter part of this paper will prove Gilgamesh is a hero using Campbell’s model, by analyzing the pieces of the hero’s journey: separation or departure, the initiation, and the return. The first element of the hero’s journey is separation or departure. This first piece is comprised of a call to adventure, acceptance of the call, supernatural aid, and the cross of the threshold. Campbell explains in a hero’s journey, a herald calls the hero to come on a journey. This component is described in Gilgamesh when Enkidu comes to get Gilgamesh to go on a quest. Enkidu tells Gilgamesh about Huwawa, the guardian of the Cedar Forest, who is frightening everybody. After hearing about Huwawa, Gilgamesh accepts the call to adventure and says, “It is Gilgamesh who will venture into the Forest/and cut the Cedar down and win the glory” (Ferry 17). Both the call to adventure and acceptance are represented in the beginning of the book. The next component that falls under the same category of separation or departure is a supernatural aid. Gilgamesh receives supernatural aid from Shamash, the god of heaven. Ninsun, Gilgamesh’s mother, asks the god to help protect her son and Enkidu while they are on their quest. “When Shamash sees him setting out on the road,/or in the mountain passes, or entering the Forest, may Shamash guard and keep him safe./ And may the stars, the watchmen of the night,/watch over Gilgamesh and the companion” (Ferry 20). Later on, when



Cited: Ferry, David. Gilgamesh: A New Rendering in English Verse. New York: Farrar, 1992. Print

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    Life of Pi

    • 502 Words
    • 3 Pages

    - In the ordinary world, we meet the hero. The call to adventure is when the hero is needed for something. Refusal to the call is when the hero usually refuses to accept the call to adventure. Meeting the mentor is when the hero meets someone who helps him out and gives advice. Crossing the first threshold is when the hero leaves his regular life and takes on something else. Test, allies, and enemies is when the hero adjusts to the new world. Approach is like a preparation for the final test. The ordeal is similar to the climax. The reward is when it all pays off. The road back is when the hero returns to their regular life. Resurrection is when the hero realizes they have changed. Lastly, return to the elixir is when the hero receives their rewards/punishments.…

    • 502 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The character Gilgamesh is an epic hero because of his actions in the story. His bravery and the challenges he went through to find the monster Humbaba. It was a six week journey through forests and mountains with challenges on surviving those obstacles.…

    • 86 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The only thing guaranteed to everyone in life, is death. No cheating it, no ignoring it, no escaping it; everybody dies. We were all born to die. As long as you go to Heaven, there’s really no point in being scared of dying.…

    • 175 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    This theory survived Akkadian manuscripts about five hundred year before the flood from about 1200 B.C. The story of Gilgamesh was written by a man named of Sin-leqe-unnini, an Akkadian scribe. He assembled the writings about Gilgamesh into 12 tablets. The method of interpretation is a Divine Myth. It explains about man that was part god and human. His goal in life was to become immortal.…

    • 283 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

    • 1307 Words
    • 6 Pages

    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…

    • 1307 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Gilgamesh Epic

    • 664 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Gilgamesh Epic dated back to many centuries ago when writing was scripted on stones. However, it is quite fascinating how a leader often intends to move on with absolute conviction amidst discouraging situation. In the case of Gish, it was a commitment to implement a mission irrespective of the outcome (Jastrow & Clay, 2006).…

    • 664 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Epic of Gilgamesh Paper

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In the ancient but exhilarating world of the Epic of Gilgamesh, we find ourselves enveloped in the heart of Mesopotamian mythology and culture. This story tells of a special, god-like man, named Gilgamesh, who undergoes an extensive journey of complex and unique encounters. Through the many experiences he has endured throughout his quest, Gilgamesh transforms his whole outlook on life and immortality through the eyes of at least three key events: the death of Enkidu, the snake who ate the special plant, and falling into a deep sleep for seven days. These experiences would progressively contribute to the monumental transformation in Gilgamesh’s natural way of thinking.…

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Essay On Gilgamesh

    • 983 Words
    • 4 Pages

    They are the stories, myths and legends that exist at the yellowed fringes of our memories, tales passed down to us from long ago. These are the epic poems of The Epic of Gilgamesh. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem written on stone tablets sometime between 2700 B.C. and around 600 B.C. in Mesopotamia. The Epic of Gilgamesh was translated by Nancy Katharine Sanders , a British archaeologist and prehistorian. She had published many books such as Bronze Age Cultures in France ( 1957), Poems of Heaven and Hell from Ancient Mesopotamia (1971), The Sea Peoples: warriors of the ancient Mediterranean 1250-1150 B. C (1978) ,… The poem is about the hero Gilgamesh, who is half god and half human. Gilgamesh is stronger and more powerful…

    • 983 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In terms of mythologist, Joseph Campbell’s A Hero with a Thousand Faces, the adventure of a hero can be generalized and demarcated into three gradations—departure, initiation, and return.…

    • 2750 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Epic of Gilgamesh

    • 1229 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of a half human half-god individual searching for life’s answer. It highlights many facets of basic human nature, along with innate human fears, needs, and desire. The main character, Gilgamesh embodies many of these characteristics of humankind coupled with his immense strength and position of power derived from his godly background. He journeys through life attempting to find way to avoid death and become immortal. He soon learns that immortality is reserved for the god’s, and so seeks out Utnapishtam, the only mortal to be granted immortality. On this journey Gilgamesh’s perception evolves and changes bringing him closer to what it really means to be immortal and how to achieve it. In the Epic Gilgamesh, the concept of life and death is explored, and is drastically changed on Gilgamesh’s part, as he encounters the only immortal man Utnapishtam. Gilgamesh, originally fearing death, adopts a new mentality of acceptance for mortality; ultimately, highlighting the innate human fear for the unknown realm of death, and the need to preserve one’s self through a timeless legacy.…

    • 1229 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    the epic of gilgamesh

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages

    URruk in her days of glory under the rein of King Gilgamash. Three forth God and one third beast he boosted "Who could have been a man more suited than me" He said. The last of his kind Gilgamash emerged supreme among the folk of URuk, His head high in the sky as proud Bull. Son of Ninsun Perfected by Aruru the Goddess of creation .Eyes as deep as the sea , Hair as wise as light, his armor shinning as a furnace of fire, fairer then the fairest ,his might unreasonable and unmatched.…

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Gilgamesh is not only a character of a story; he is actually a portrayal of people and how they act out of human nature. he like many of us, does not want his existence to end when he leaves this world. He is not content with what he has, good looks, money, and power and desires more in life. In the story of Gilgamesh we, as people, can relate to. There are similarities between Gilgamesh’s journey and our own journey through life.…

    • 508 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Gilgamesh

    • 1691 Words
    • 7 Pages

    A hero is someone who tries the best to help everyone and will do everything in his or her power to help out another person. The term hero means different things to different people. Today many people believe that a hero is a person who can accomplish what others cannot or a person who puts themselves on the line for the other people. Men, women and children can all be heroes if they truly feel in their hearts the need to help others in even the smallest ways. In our modern world heroes are defined in so many ways. Anyone can be a hero, a best friend, a devoted mother/father, a teacher, etc. On the other hand, in the older days, before laws and technology, heroes were the men who fought against evil things, who rescue damsels in distress; they were the manly men, the king's knights, god like creatures, brave warriors. As criteria for any epic story a hero must be involved in the story. Furthermore, these heroes had to meet also specific criteria. The definition of an ancient time hero is very different than a hero today yet in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh meets many of the traits in today’s hero.…

    • 1691 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Epic of Gilgamesh

    • 1276 Words
    • 6 Pages

    For my essay I chose the question, “What does this story teach us about Mesopotamian religion?” A few main points that I will be discussing are: the relationship between humans and gods, why humans pray/praise the gods, and the understanding of why Gilgamesh could not become immortal and why he was afraid of the afterlife. I chose this question because I felt that the god’s had a major impact on Gilgamesh’s life. For example; Shamash, the sun god, giving protection to Gilgamesh and Enkidu, or Ishtar, the goddess of war and love, sends the Bull of Heaven down to Uruk to gore Gilgamesh (even though she does not succeed).…

    • 1276 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Epic of Gilgamesh

    • 1544 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The legend of Gilgamesh is believed to be the first story ever written by man. Before Gilgamesh was written it was passed from mouth to mouth by the ancient civilization of the Sumerians. The Sumerians existed over three thousand years before the birth of Christ. They recorded the story of Gilgamesh in cuneiform script. Later the Sumerian story was passed on to the Babylonians, Akkadians, Asyrians, Hitties, and Persians whom had also learned to write in their own languages. The Sumerians and their language disappeared, but their story of Gilgamesh has continued.…

    • 1544 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays