Epic of Gilgamesh: a Hero Essay

Words: 1630
Pages: 7

People have been fascinated by tales of heroism for centuries. In ancient Mesopotamia, heroes give people hope and comfort, and fill them with strength. Ancient Mesopotamia is filled with tales of heroes- mighty warriors battling monsters, men ready to risk life and limb to save their true love or to fight for their nation. Still, there is a great difficulty that lies in defining what a hero truly is. Strength alone does not make a hero; nor does intelligence. Moreover, the Epic of Gilgamesh truly defines the definition of a hero. Gilgamesh is portrayed as a true hero through his skill, intelligence, willingness to die, reverence, and his respect for death.
Throughout the entire epic, Gilgamesh demonstrates outrageous skill as a
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A true leader is one who seeks the best for his whole kingdom and not just himself. An intelligent leader is one who is always seeking for wisdom. This is why Gilgamesh sought knowledge from Utnapishtam about becoming immortal. When he finally found the plant of eternal life, his first thought was to take it back to the aged men of his kingdom; then he would take it for himself. This is another example of how he thought more about his kingdom than he did of himself. Intelligence is one of the most important parts of being a hero. Moreover, wiliness to die for what one believes is one of the most outstanding characteristics of a hero. If one is not willing to give their life for the cause which they support, then nobody would look up to them. People will think of their heroic figure as a coward or a phony. Gilgamesh shows his willingness to give himself for his kingdom numerous times throughout the epic. When he fights Humbaba, he knows he could very likely die, but to rid the world of this terrible beast and make his people safe he knew it was worth more than his life. The same thing is true when he kills the bull sent from the sky. It says that, “An earthquake fixed a grave for nine dozen citizens of Urok. Two or three or four hundred victims, maybe more than that, fell into hell.” Gilgamesh could have easily fled to save his own