The Epic of Gilgamesh

Topics: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Enkidu Pages: 3 (1062 words) Published: October 24, 2013
The Epic of Gilgamesh: Transformation of Gilgamesh Rewrite Gilgamesh is a dynamic hero who transforms throughout the epic in four phases. The epic simply begins with Gilgamesh ruling the city of Uruk as an egotistical, self-centered tyrant. The gods observe Gilgamesh’s arrogance and send Enkidu to mentor him and teach him the value of people. After Enkidu and Gilgamesh prevail through the trials the gods sent them, they become too conceited and are punished for the transgressions. Due to his friend dying, Gilgamesh becomes extremely paranoid of death. He seeks immortality and after failing to gain immortality he learns his lesson. Finally, on his return he reconciles with his people and recognizes his contributions. This pilgrimage is meant to teach Gilgamesh that while he may have been scared of death and disappearing, he had already been immortalized and will never be forgotten.

The epic never gives an explanation for Gilgamesh’s superhuman abilities other than him being blessed by the gods. “When the gods created Gilgamesh they gave him a perfect body. Shamash the glorious sun endowed him with beauty, Adad the god of all the storm endowed him with courage, the great gods made his beauty perfect, surpassing all others terrifying like a great wild bull. Two thirds they made him god and one third man.”(Prologue 7-11) While his demigod qualities increase his strengths so that he is fiercest warrior and also the greatest builder of his time, it also causes him to have fatal flaws. Due to being unmatched on both the battlefield and in his city he no longer thinks his subjects are worthy of respect and mistreats them. “Gilgamesh sounds the tocsin for his amusement, his arrogance has no bounds by day or night. No son is left with his father, for Gilgamesh takes them all, even the children; yet the king should be a shepherd to his people. His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble; yet this is the shepherd of...


Citations: Mack, Manyard. The Norton Anthology World Masterpieces. N.P.: W.W. Norton &, 1992. Print
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