The Epic of Gilgamesh SummaryEdit

Gilgamesh is the young, strong and wise king of Uruk made by gods and does whatever he wishes. He amuses himself with wives and daughters, which causes his people to cry out. The gods listen to the people's cries and decide to send forth the noble Enkidu. Enkidu initiallly lives as a wild beast until a female seduces him and causes him to forget the ways of the wild and focus on what the human world has to offer. Enkidu fights Gilgamesh when he meets him which leads to deep friendship between two god-like humans.Later the two go on a jouney where they kill a mighty beast named Humbaba. They return to Uruk triumphant with his head and after a celebration the goddess Ishtar wishes for Gilgamesh to be her lover. Gilgamesh rejects her offer thus bringing Ishtar's anger in the form of the Bull of Heaven. After Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill it, the gods decide that one of the heroes must die for their behavior. They choose Enkidu and he dies after suffering for 12 days. This shatters Gilgamesh and makes him mourns for many days. He becomes terrified of his mortality and wishes to escape this inevitable outcome. He decides to seek out Utnapishtim, the only human who recieved immortality from the gods. It is told that Utnapishtim saved humanity by building a boat when a great flood came upon the earth as a result of the gods' anger. He travels and convinces the Scorpion-man guardians of Mount Mashu to allow him entry under the mountain. He reaches a beautiful paradise after enduring darkness for an entire day. He frightens Siduri, the owner of a tavern by the sea, and is again granted access after Gilgamesh tells his story and plan for finding Utnapishtim. Siduri then tell Gilgamesh about the ferryman who can take him across the Waters of Death. After crossing, Gilgamesh meets Utnapishtim who states that immortality is for the gods and that humans should learn to accept death. Utnapishtim tells him how he gained immortality and asks Gilgamesh what he has done to deserve the same award. Utnapishtim then allows Gilgamesh to complete two trials: staying awake for a week or finding a plant that grants youth. After failing both, Gilgamesh head home to Uruk. As he reaches Uruk and views the city, he realizes that it his legacy along with humanity and he should be able to appreciate that.

Themes and Main Topics Within The StoryEdit

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A main theme of Gilgamesh is immortality and how it symbolizes ego and self-centeredness. As seen in the story immortality is inferior to kindness and wisdom that is why at the end of the story Gilgamesh gives up immortality for Uruk.   

Another important theme in the story is finding the meaning of life. Gilgamesh is a tyrant ruling over his city doing whatever he pleases until Enkidu challenges his ways. Gilgamesh goes through an epic quest so that he might live forever until he brutally realizes that humans are not meant to live forever.    

Sexual temptation is also a theme present in the story. It is shown when Enkidu is seduced by the harlot into coming into the human world and leaving behind his beastly self. Enkidu simply likes what the woman has to offer and embraces it, thus having his animal companions turning their back on him.    

Another theme is Man vs. Wilderness with Gilgamesh representing cilvilization and Enkidu representing nature. In this story nature divides itself from mankind on many accounts a couple being Humbaba guarding the Cedar forest and the two mountains that protect the sun. Nature attempts to stay away from mankind's corruption which is shown throughout the story, but men can never be satisfied which leads to their own downfall.    

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Gilg friendship
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