Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Reflection of Gilgamesh

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Reflection of Gilgamesh

The main character in The Epic of Gilgamesh is Gilgamesh himself. In the beginning of the book one realizes that Gilgamesh is an arrogant person. Gilgamesh is full of himself and he abuses his rights as king. He has sexual intercourse with the virgins of his town and acts as though he is god. Throughout the book, many things cause Gilgamesh to change. He gains a friend, he makes a name for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries to become immortal because of the death of Enkidu. Through these main actions his personality alters for the betterment of himself.

First, the main reason that Gilgamesh changes from the beginning of the book is the friendship that he has with Enkidu. Enkidu is made to make Gilgamesh more human. In the first paragraph of the book the gods are angry with Gilgamesh and send down an equal of himself, they send down Enkidu. "When Anu had heard their lamentation, the gods cried to Aruru, the goddess of creation," "You made him, O Aruru, now create his equal; let it be as like him as his own reflection, his second self, stormy heart for stormy heart. Let them contend together and leave Uruk in quiet" (Vol. A, 1). It is obvious after Gilgames's encounter with Enkidu and they gradually become friends; his personality starts to change.

A second explanation of the alteration of Gilgmesh and his personality is the death of Humbaba. Many people who live in the city of Uruk fear both the "thing" in the forest, as well as Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh does what he wants, does not care of other people's feelings, and tends to offend the gods. Gilgamesh realizes if he can not have immortality, then he can have immortality through the minds of the people(by remembering him). This is a very arguable point. By going into the forest and facing Humbaba, makes him an unforgettable name and sort of a hero. The people feel as though he is protecting the city.

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Finally, the quest for immortality after the death of Enkidu shows Gilgamesh has changed. Now, he shows emotion and sympathy. When Enkidu dies and Gilgamesh is heart broken without his companion. After this, Gilgamesh sets on a journey for everlasting life in which he realizes too soon that it is an unattainable goal. "My friend, my younger brother who seized and killed the Bull of Heaven, and overthrew Humbaba in the cedar forest, my friend who was very dear to me, and who endured dangers beside me, Enkidu my brother I am afraid of death, because of my brother I stray through the wilderness. His fate lies heavy upon me. How can I be silent, how can I rest? He is dust and I too shall die and be laid in the earth for ever. I am afraid of death, therefore, Urshanabi, tell me which is the road to Utnapishtim? If it is possible I will cross the waters of death; if not I will wander still farther through the wilderness" ().

In conclusion, in The Epic of Gilgamesh, the better understanding of the book reveals that, in fact, Gilgamesh does change in a positive way. In an epic there are more than just reading to understand the story. Many times there are lessons or moral to the theme or the plot of the story. This epic also demonstrated struggles that people go through every day such as losing someone, attaining fame, and fearing death.

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