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The themes and messages of the epic of gilgamesh

After their victories the gods decree that Enkidu must die. In the second half of the epic, prodded by Enkidu's death, Gilgamesh pursues the secret of immortality first in the garden of the gods and then with Utnapishtim, the Mesopotamian Noah, who recounts his own story of survival during the great flood that destroyed humanity.

The Epic of Gilgamesh Themes

Although Gilgamesh fails to gain eternal life, he ends his journeys a wise man and celebrated ruler. The Motif of the Journey and the Search for the Meaning of Life On one hand, at its foundation, the Epic of Gilgamesh is a story of action in the world and of movement out into the physical realm. After their meeting, Gilgamesh and Enkidu travel out into the sacred and mysterious Forest of the Cedars to face Humbaba, the embodiment of evil.

  • Enkidu was as a protector of animals, before knowing anything about the world and he had no differences from animals;
  • He is strong and fearless but the question of inevitability of death torments his mind;
  • After that relation, he became civilized and went to a civilized place, Uruk;
  • He literally goes into the earth at the mountains of Mashu to find the realm of the gods, and although Enkidu is not physically present with Gilgamesh, the memory of his friend's death continues to impel Gilgamesh's search for meaning and immortality.

They then return to Uruk to face the Bull of Heaven, who comes as the wrath of Ishtar, goddess of love and war. Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu are men of action who define life according to the obstacles they overcome, and they find their greatest fulfillment in facing challenges. On the other hand, the outward journeys of Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the first half of the epic are matched by the internal struggle Gilgamesh faces in the second half of the story.

After Enkidu dies at the will of the gods, Gilgamesh commences a parallel journey into the spiritual realm.

Themes in the Epic of Gilgamesh

He literally goes into the earth at the mountains of Mashu to find the realm of the gods, and although Enkidu is not physically present with Gilgamesh, the memory of his friend's death continues to impel Gilgamesh's search for meaning and immortality. Thus, the journeys that structure the Epic of Gilgamesh need to be read on two levels: Culture and Nature The internal balance between physical and spiritual journeys in the Epic of Gilgamesh is matched by the contrast in the two main characters, Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

At the Epic's opening, Gilgamesh embodies both the arrogance and the cultivation of high Sumerian culture.

  • While Gilgamesh is part God and part man, he is not immortal;
  • Before his death Enkidu is angry at her for what she did to him and decides to curse her;
  • Utnapishtim resolves his fear and confusion;
  • Together, Gilgamesh, the cultivated ruler, and Enkidu, the civilized wild man, form an inseparable bond and begin a series of exploits to conquer Humbaba, that other forest creature, and the Bull of Heaven, the embodiment of natural disaster;
  • Before his death Enkidu is angry at her for what she did to him and decides to curse her;
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He is the king and the height of power, he is physically gifted and beautiful, but he is also haughty and abusive: At a crucial early juncture in the Epic, Gilgamesh, having heard about this "wildman," sends a Courtesan to Enkidu.

She transforms Enkidu's wildness through her sexual charms and she teaches him table manners and correct behavior.

Afterwards, the wild animals run away from Enkidu. The Courtesan thereby brings him into the civilized world, or as the Epic reads, "Enkidu had become a man" 1.

In contrast to Enkidu, Humbaba, the forest giant is considered a monster and enemy, for he says, "I have never known a mother, no, nor a father who reared me" 1. Together, Gilgamesh, the cultivated ruler, and Enkidu, the civilized wild man, form an inseparable bond and begin a series of exploits to conquer Humbaba, that other forest creature, and the Bull of Heaven, the embodiment of natural disaster.

  • Morality is not at the centre of the epic and still has got an immense value as a theme in the epic;
  • The Epic celebrates this friendship, and how it transforms both men for the better;
  • When one of them showed weakness, the other reinforced fearlessness and reminded them of their friendship;
  • Gilgamesh evaluated Enkidu, and found him enough talented and powerful to be his companion through his aims, getting fame and immortality;
  • Both of them had been informed of the future friendship from the harlot and the mother of Gilgamesh;
  • Actually, he was a character, which was sent by gods to be a friend of Gilgamesh.

Identity and Relationship As the semi-divine creation of Shamash, the sun god, who gives him physical beauty, and Adad, the storm god, who gives him great courage, Gilgamesh is at the top of the human social ladder. As king of Uruk, Gilgamesh has access to all the riches and pleasures his society can provide.

In his lofty and elevated station. The entire section is 1,653 words.