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Yuridia Guzman
Humanities 312
10:00 AM class
1st Paper Assignment: Gilgamesh

The epic on Gilgamesh is about the King of Uruk named Gilgamesh who was known for

being only two-thirds god and then one third human. He was known for being one of the

strongest men and a brave warrior. Gilgamesh in the beginning of the poem was considered to be

arrogant and acted like a dictator. The epic story centralizes on a heroic quest made by

Gilgamesh and Enkidu as well as heroic epic and lastly focuses on death. Through this epic we

see how Gilgamesh's purpose to find immortality but sees otherwise throughout his journey.

Throughout the epic he goes through grief and is on a search to get the answers he is seeking for

about life as well as death.

The epic starts off with the Ling of Uruk being Gilgamesh who was known for being a

cruel and being totalitarian to his city. His city contain temple, towers and many ziggurats. In his

ruling of his people he was known for mistreating them taking advantage of them and using them

for his own pleasure basically terrorizing his subjects. His wife is known for being the daughter

of a nobleman being one of his warriors. When building his city he had made some building

projects that consisted of forced labor of his people which led them to exhaustion as well felt

basically cried due to the mistreatment of his ruling. Until after the subjects crying out finally the

gods heard these people pleas and came to the conclusion to use a wild man they have created

named Enkidu to check over Gilgamesh ruling and to make sure he no longer was making these

people suffer under his control. At times it has been told that both of them clashed a lot creating

both heroes to fight but some as time went by both Gilgamesh and Enkidu became close friends.

A little bit of Enkidus background consists of him living with animals and acting like

one until one day a hunter sees him and decides to send him a prostitute in order to tame him
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because it was believed that sex is what calms and basically domesticates a wild man into

civilized form. Enkidu and the prostitute, Harlot slept together which leads to the other animals

rejection because now after his doing he is now part of the human life because then Harlot

teaches him how to act like a man. Later Gilgamesh is angered of the hearing of what Gilgamesh

does to the people of the city of Uruk in order to challenge him. They fight and later the

becoming of a friendship.

Later both heroes decided to set off into what they stated as dangerous adventures

basically one of them being killing of the monster Huwawa who was known for guarding the

Cedar Forest of Enlil which causes the goddess named Ishtar to feel defamed but later she falls in

love with Gilgamesh. But since there was no real romance occurring Ishtar becomes angry then

calls Anu the god of the sky to send for the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilgamesh or to punish him of

his wrong doing. This then leads to Enkidu to die due to Enlils anger over the loss of Huwawa

which cause his heartbreak of his good friend. Gilgamesh then realizing that one day he will

takes on a journey to find what the secret is of eternal life wanting to become immortal.

Gilgamesh still mourning over the loss of Enkidu keeps thinking of his death as well.

This leads to the story of the flood which generally is about how Utnapishtim, which is the

Mesopotamian Noah, obtained eternal life then rewards Gilgamesh for the good actions he had

one during the flood. Then Utnapishtim tells him the secret which is the Plant of life that is

growing in the bottom of the sea basically in a way has powers of renewing life to the one who

decided to eat the plant. Gilgamesh seeks for it but then is stolen by the snake which causes him

to feel as if he had failed in his journey and sees how the snakes old skin is shedded and then his

new life begins and his youth begins of the snake. Like in the epic is stated, the sad lot of man is

old age and death.


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In leads to the conclusion of the epic of how after the snake and seeking for immortality

led him to going back to Uruk where he feels empty and to restore the relation with his morality.

He finally agrees that there is no such thing of living forever but human kind will forever live.

He finally realizes the city he mistreated is breathtaking and is the only good thing that has come

from all of what has happened as well as to what a mortal person could want.

After reading the text some of what is known of Gilgamesh existence comes from

inscriptions that are written down in stone but some of them have been found in the walls of

Uruk where he once ruled. These tablets basically give us an insight of one of the first recording

of this king and of the journey he took place on trying to seek for basically in a few words the

meaning of life as well as it gives a recording of the great action or deeds he has accomplished.

Yes there are figures that are created on his behalf, but having these pieces of scriptures actually

gives us evidence of his existence as well as to what he did throughout his life but more so

throughout his quest. After reading the text and doing some researching him for the most part it

is believable that Gilgamesh is a real character who lived in the past due to how much evidence

there is. One being first of all the writing in the stone walls of Uruk he is the ruler of the city

therefore he knows what goes on in his city. These stone inscriptions have been created being

part of the walls of Uruk therefore this only means that archeologists have made these studies

and have determined that these inscriptions lead up to being part of the Uruk walls. These tablets

are basically the first records that indicate the great deeds of Gilgamesh as well as what occurred

in his quest to find the meaning of life after all. After doing some research there also has been

some historical figures such as King Enmebargesi of Kish who was known for being the

Sumerian King List in which have referenced back to Gilgamesh. According to Ancient History

they have stated that Archeologist have actually discovered the tomb of Gilgamesh in April
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2003. By using modern technology the archeologist have used magnetization to seek for

evidence in the Euphrates where it once was told that Gilgameshs body was buried at the end of

the Euphrates when according to legends have said it was buried at the bottom when the water

had parted due to his death. Even in the poem it has been said of these stone scriptures so it can

only tell us that it is true this person is real and what he did was real due to textual evidence and

the use of technology.

Throughout the epic poem of Gilgamesh starts off as a arrogant ruler to in a way

becoming at peace due to what has happened to him. Reading the epic we see a time line of

events where throughout where he started off as a ruler, to setting off on a journey, to losing a

loved one and feeling, to finally realizing the meaning of life we see whom this heroic figure is.

He went though all these troubles and challenges to leading him to the conclusion that there is no

such thing as immortality. The epic poem basically concludes by saying how humankind has no

ending, but to life there is an ending.