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Paper Topic:

Themes of Gilgamesh

Themes of Gilgamesh

The Epic


Themes Analyzed

Works Cited


Themes of Gilgamesh

I . The Epic

The Epic of Gilgamesh is the story of King Gilgamesh of Uruk who oppresses his people . As punishment , the gods send him a companion Enkidu , who is his mirror image and becomes his good friend . Together Gilgamesh and Enkidu defy the gods by killing the giant Humbaba , cutting down the sacred cedar forest which he guards , and killing the Bull of Heaven . Enkidu has ominous dreams of the destiny of

tyrants who become slaves in the House of Death . Enkidu finally dies of an illness sent by the gods . Horrified by Enkidu 's death and the prospect of his own demise , Gilgamesh undertakes a quest for immortality which brings him to the abode of Utnapishtim , a virtuous man who obeys the gods and was saved by them from the Great Flood . Utnapishtim puts Gilgamesh to various tests which he fails and eventually sends him away assuring him that he cannot escape death . A humbled Gilgamesh returns to Uruk and s his story to be inscribed in stone

Although the epic is several thousand years old , it never fails to fascinate contemporary readers with its account . It contains the elements of a great epic literature : fantastic geographies and exotic characters exhausting quests and difficult journeys heroic battles with monsters , supernatural beings and natural forces . Above all , it is a gripping story of an epic hero who is driven to meet his destiny and who rises to every challenge with courage and determination

II . Themes

Many themes are incorporated into the story line of Gilgamesh . There is the theme of love , friendship , death , adventure , and change to name only a few . The list goes on and on . These themes make the epic interesting and worth reading

III . Themes Analyzed

A . Human Nature (Insatiable desire

It is human nature for people to want to excel in life and strive to make a name in this world for themselves . We want to be remembered by name or for something we have done . Most of us , who actually succeed are forgotten about in a matter of years . However , some are remembered for tens , hundreds , and even thousands of years , because of their great intellectual achievement to feats of outstanding skill

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 . The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story that we , as people , can relate to . There are similarities between Gilgamesh 's journey and our own journey through life . Some of the texts that will be compared with The Epic of Gilgamesh , are the Bible , and Mark Twain 's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . The characters of these stories are all...

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