Ancient history Tells many narratives – some created on phantasy and some based on truth. Ancient Mesopotamia has its ain portion of narratives and many of these narratives focus on a adult male named Gilgamesh. The “ Epic of Gilgamesh, ” tells this adult male ‘s life narrative.
Throughout the narrative, Gilgamesh struggles with the construct of his ain mortality and refuses to believe that his life will come to an terminal. Bing two-thirds God, he perceives himself as a god-like animal. Ultimately nevertheless, Gilgamesh additions wisdom on his journey to detect immortality and distressingly realizes that his end is unachievable. His inexorable mentality on life forces him to accept his worst fright – that someday he will decease.In Gilgamesh ‘s young person, he was a swayer and was, for the most portion, praised by the dwellers of the metropolis of Uruk. At this clip, decease did non concern him.
He lived as if he were unbeatable. Later in the heroic poem, a powerful adult male named Enkidu shows up in Uruk and helps set Gilgamesh ‘s power into balance. Together Enkidu and Gilgamesh set out on escapades and achieve many efforts ; nevertheless, one can non bury why Enkidu was created in the first topographic point.
Enkidu was sent to Gilgamesh because his power was transgressing its bounds and “ Gilgamesh would non go forth [ immature misss entirely ] ” ( “ The Epic of Gilgamesh ” 50 ) . Although overall a popular swayer, Gilgamesh is at one point portrayed as a demanding swayer that disregards the wants of his topics and colzas adult females as he pleases. In this respect, does Gilgamesh merit immortality in the first topographic point? This deeper philosophical inquiry must be addressed before one begins to understand why immortality is an impossibleness for Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh may hold asked himself this inquiry, which may hold made him chew over his ain worthiness of being immortal. These ideas helped catalyse his fright that he would decease merely like the people he ruthlessly ruled over. In other words, the questionability of his morality might hold driven his pursuit for ageless young person.During one escapade, Enkidu and Gilgamesh go to the Cedar Forest and Humbaba, a monster tasked by the Gods with guarding the forest, confronts them. After a long battle, Humbaba begs for his life, but Gilgamesh, encouraged by Enkidu, kills him anyhow. The Gods find out and are angry at this rebelliousness and finally kill Enkidu as penalty.
After all, Humbaba was guiltless and did non merit to decease. When Enkidu dies and “ has turned to clay ” in Gilgamesh ‘s weaponries, Gilgamesh, petrified that he will see the same destiny, “ roam [ s ] unfastened state for long distances ; [ as the ] words of [ his ] friend Enkidu weigh upon [ him ] ” ( “ The Epic ” 104 ) . When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh goes into a depression and can non halt mourning the loss of his friend. He talks to Enkidu ‘s organic structure as if it was still alive and refuses to bury him. Gilgamesh is depressed and fearful for his ain life for several grounds. He has had really few close friends in the heroic poem that we know of and when his best friend dies, Gilgamesh does non cognize what to make without Enkidu and becomes delusional about his state of affairs. Gilgamesh becomes more cognizant of his mortality because Enkidu ‘s strength matched his ain when he was killed.
Gilgamesh resolves to suppress decease.Gilgamesh is determined to populate everlastingly, and he begins to track down a person named Utnapishtim who was granted ageless life. Gilgamesh overcomes many obstructions to make this adult male, some of which no person had ventured through earlier. Finally, when he meets Utnapishtim, Gilgamesh explains his desire to be immortal and his fright of decease. Utnapishtim challenges him to “ non kip for six yearss and seven darks ” ( “ The Epic ” 116 ) . He is determined to finish this challenge and turn out to Utnapishtim and himself that he deserves immortality, nevertheless “ sleep breathes over him like a fog, ” and he is unable to remain awake ( “ The Epic ” 116 ) .
Finally he is awoken and thinks he has merely been asleep for a few proceedingss. He is still full of desperation confident that decease is fast nearing. His journey ends in failure, but besides leads to an of import epiphany.
He discovers that it is better to decease merrily than live in fright but it is ill-defined if he really embraces this disclosure. Regardless, his journey makes him a wiser swayer.Death itself invokes fear. We know it exists but non where it leads. The enigma of decease, combined with the Mesopotamian mentality, leave fright and unhappiness to cultivate in the head of Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh says, “ cipher sees the face of Death. Cipher hears the voice of Death ” ( “ The Epic ” 108 ) . He goes on, nil that “ decease [ is a ] image [ that ] can non be drawn ” ( “ The Epic ” 109 ) . This signifier or force that is decease can non be explained. Gilgamesh believes that something that can non be heard or seen but that can strike and kill at any minute is something to be feared. Death gives us no hints as to what happens after life. We can merely theorize as to how this cryptic component operates. Ultimately, all we know is that the human organic structure decomposes.
This inexorable mentality, this hourglass of life invariably being depleted, leaves Gilgamesh experiencing merely empty and plaintive.Some argue that Gilgamesh has already achieved immortality. Although he is physically dead, his narratives and journeys live on through the written word. His narrative has been copied and translated into many texts and linguistic communications. In this sense, he has so gained everlasting life. He lives on non through his organic structure but through ink and paper. However, when Gilgamesh sets out to happen ageless young person he is seeking to get away a physical decease so that he may be on Earth everlastingly.
Populating metaphorically would non hold been sufficient for Gilgamesh. Some of the fables portray Gilgamesh as a spiteful and violent swayer, yet Gilgamesh is no longer alive and can non act upon how his narratives are interpreted. In this sense he has no control over his being.
Although we read about him today, he was swayer of the yesteryear, and is no longer alive in the present.Gilgamesh prepares to go forth Utnapishtim, still unsuccessful, afraid, and disturbance. However before he bids farewell, Utnapishtim reveals a secret of the Gods. He informs Gilgamesh that there exists a thorny works in the Apsu that restores young person. Upon hearing this Gilgamesh weighs himself down and dives into the sea to retrieve the works. Even though Gilgamesh finds this works, he does non devour it on the topographic point.
He decides to wait and “ give it to an senior to eat, and so seek out the works ” ( “ The Epic ” 119 ) . However since it was ne’er tested, one can non be certain that the works will make as it promises in the first topographic point. When he discovers the works is stolen, sadness takes over him as “ cryings flowed over his cheeks ” ( “ The Epic ” 119 ) .
Except for the decease of Enkidu, this is the lone clip that Gilgamesh calls. Entirely and afraid, Gilgamesh realizes that his last opportunity to happen immortality has passed. However, there is no verification that the works restores youth, so one can non state with certainty that immortality exists in such a signifier. Although Gilgamesh was non able to seek the works himself, the serpent which stole the works may hold experienced the works ‘s effects. The dark that the thorny works was stolen by the serpent ; “ it took it away, [ and ] it shed its scaly tegument ” ( “ The Epic ” 119 ) . This quotation mark in the heroic poem reveals an ambiguity.
When the serpent sheds its tegument, it could be aging or acquiring younger. Because this is equivocal, we can non corroborate that immortality existed in the signifier of a works. Supposing the works was really effectual, Gilgamesh would hold logically dived back down to acquire more of the works. This foliage of life is more symbolic and is utilized to demo that immortality, like decease, is non touchable. Gilgamesh is accustomed to contending forces that he can see such as Humbaba, the Bull of Heaven, and other warriors. When he deals with immortality which has no physical signifier, Gilgamesh is disappointed and finally unprepared to contend the unknown.
Evidence clearly shows that Gilgamesh died a fearful adult male, in vain seizing the dream of immortality. When he saw powerful Enkidu dice, he realized that he would see the same destiny and put out to alter his fate. However, does person who slays an guiltless animal and colzas guiltless adult females truly merit to populate everlastingly? There is no cogent evidence in the heroic poem that he admits his errors or that he feels any compunction.
Regardless, he sets out to happen Utnapishtim and turn out to himself that he deserves to be immature once more. On all of his journeys, Gilgamesh can see himself aging, and he spends infinite hours looking for something that does non be. One can merely inquire why Gilgamesh sought so strongly to be immortal when his life as a male monarch, a justice, and an adventurer was finally successful.