“The Epic of Gilgamesh” essay

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“The Epic of Gilgamesh” is an imaginary story highlighting a mystifying relationship between gods, man and the city of Uruk. The story tells how gods mercifully guide their faithful mortals by giving the insight and warning over any upcoming danger. Gilgamesh was compassionately warned by the whispers of the god of wisdom about the upcoming flood thus saving his life. Moreover, conversations between man and the gods open up a channel for continuous talks between the earth and the heavens. These unending conversations bestow man with an immortal soul that grants him entry into a real human world. The saving words of the gods that warned Gilgamesh of the upcoming flood played a major role in the construction and governing of the city.Therefore, due to the close relationship between gods, men and the city of Uruk, peace was able to prevail as the gods protected the city mortals by granting several men wisdom to govern the city.

“The Epic of Gilgamesh” talks about the ancient Babylonians who believed that their creation was out of the blood of god Quingu who had been slain. As a result, they considered that they had a closer relationship with the gods than any other race. Gilgamesh, the protagonist of the story, was directly born from the gods. Therefore, it is natural for him to show some man character traits. Through the story, we find out that the close relationship experienced by men with the gods resulted in the men adopting powers resembling that of the gods. Gilgamesh is an epitome of the immortals who exhibited powers similar to those of the gods as he was able to rule his kingdom besides having immense physical strength beyond mortal comprehension. Furthermore, as a result of being born by a god, “Two-thirds of him was divine, and one-third mortal. Belet-ili designed the shape of his body, made his form perfect,” (tablet 2).

Gilgamesh being partly a mortal and a god, he was able to exhibit super natural abilities. His existence was a result of the numerous similarities between immortals and gods. To further illustrate the similarities between gods and immortals, the beauty of Gilgamesh was admired by both immortal princess like Ishtar as well as the goddess “And Ishtar the princess raised her eyes to the beauty of Gilgamesh. ‘"Come along, Gilgamesh, be you my husband, to me grant your lusciousness.'” (tablet 4 7-8).The association experienced between man and the gods shows that gods can easily pass down their powers to the immortals.

Besides having close association with the immortals, the gods provide security and protection over them living in the city as they lack super- human powers. Gilgamesh’s evils toward the mortals living in the city are cut short as the gods introduce another godly creature to counter the prowess of Gilgamesh. Enkidu is created by the gods from clay to possess similar physical powers as those of Gilgamesh. Besides, he is given an animal instinct and massive strength not experienced by mortals. Enkidu was a god’s creation aimed at ensuring that peace prevailed within the mortals in the city by countering Gilgamesh atrocities committed towards the mortals “let them be a match for each other so that Uruk may find peace!” (tablet 1). Although Enkidu was created by the gods, he lacked the godly traits as he had no direct blood relations with them as the mortal. By engaging in sex with a mortal, Enkidu lost much of his physical prowess. On the contrary, Gilgamesh alongside other mortals had the ability to have sexual intercourse as many times as he wished without losing his physical powers just like the gods.

The civilization process that is revealed through the language development is experienced by Enkindu who develops human speech. On the other hand, Gilgamesh discovers poetic phrases that reveal a lot of wisdom to him. During his long voyage in search of immortality, Gilgamesh gains wisdom that enables him to realize that he is an immortal man who must face death at some point of his life. The amicable relationship between mortals and the immortals is further displayed as the god of wisdom warns Gilgamesh through his friend Utnapishtim that there is an upcoming flood. The words of wisdom that show true love experienced by both mortals and immortals is illustrated in the wisdom granted to Gilgamesh thus enabling to govern his city with love.

Further relationship between mortals and immortals is experienced when Ut-napishtim, a mortal, is granted immortality by the gods for surviving the great flood. His survival indicates that he had some super human powers that enabled him not to perish like the other mortals. By being uplifted to the immortality stage, Ut-napishtim was able to gain insight and knowledge which enabled him to live a longer life than the ordinary mortals. Ut-napishtim had the ability to grant immortality to human beings “this plant is a plant against decay(!),/ by which a man can attain his survival(!).” (tablet XI). Therefore, this indicates that mortals and immortals have a lot in common as a mortal man is able to understand the wisdom of the immortals if given a chance.

The “Epic of Gilgamesh” clearly highlights the close relationship experienced by both mortals and the immortals. The relationship between immortals, mortals, and the city is experienced when the immortals protect the innocent citizens of the city of Uruk from the barbaric rule of their cruel king Gilgamesh. Moreover, the gods give insight to Gilgamesh during his voyages to enable him rule the city with wisdom and justice. Further amicable relationship between gods and man is illustrated in the massive physical powers of Gilgamesh and constant loss of Enkidu’s physical powers. The power changes experienced by Enkidu indicate that he possessed godly powers which regulated his strength. Ut-napishtim’s vast knowledge on several issues like gaining immortality clearly signifies his possession of the godly powers.

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