Essay Gilgamesh's Journey

Submitted By nevarej
Words: 800
Pages: 4

Gilgamesh’s Journey
Gilgamesh was created two thirds god and one third man. He was given a perfect body, and endowed with courage. He was not well-liked by the people of Uruk because he would take their children, and use their wives and daughters. When the gods heard the cries of the people of Uruk, they wanted to create him an equal, one to be like his own reflection in order to allow him to leave the people of Uruk alone. Thus, Enkindu was created. One night when Gilgamesh was about to steal yet another woman from her husband, Enkindu blocked him, and they battled, ending in the beginning of their friendship.

On the journey, Enkindu and Gilgamesh encounter challenges in which Gilgamesh is aided by guidance from Shamash, the god of law. Gilgamesh learns of the feeling of compassion when they encounter Humbaba, the keeper of the forest. Humbaba pleads to be let free to keep order of the land that he was born and raised from. Gilgamesh is conflicted because Enkindu is persistent on killing off Humbaba, Enkindu says to Gilgamesh “do not listen Gilgamesh; Humbaba must die. Kill Humbaba first and his servant second.”(Page 73) Gilgamesh was torn on which decision to make however Gilgamesh eventually listens and kills the guardian of the forest.
When the gods decide that Enkindu must die, Gilgamesh learned what it was like to lose someone so close to him. He wept for seven days and seven nights, and summoned coppersmiths and stone-workers to make a statue of Enkindu. The death of Enkindu had sparked his curiosity and need for knowledge about the living and the dead into Gilgamesh. At this point, Gilgamesh was in despair at the thought that he too, would die. He was afraid of death and wanted to find Utnapishtim, one who had been granted eternal life by the gods, to find out how he too could be granted eternal life.
Along his journey Gilgamesh had to obtain a lot of courage and faith in the leadership of the gods to get him to Utnapishtim. He was tried for physical and mental strength that he had never needed for his life in Uruk. Once Gilgamesh passed all of the obstacles in his way, he finally reached Utnapishtim, who tells Gilgamesh a secret of the gods. Gilgamesh learns of the story of the flood, and how the gods decided to destroy humankind. The god of wisdom, Ea, warned Utnapishtim about the gods’ plan and told him to build a huge boat for his family and the seed of every living creature to escape the flood on. After the flood, the gods regretted their decision and agreed to never try to destroy humankind again. Men would die, but humankind would always be. This is when Utnapishtim was rewarded with eternal life. Utnapishtim says that if Gilgamesh can stay awake for a week, then he will be able to stay alive for an eternity. However, Gilgamesh fails at his attempt to stay awake for a whole week and Utnapishtim tells him to return to rule Uruk, where he belongs. Gilgamesh is told to wash