The Epic Of Gilgamesh Analysis

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Recording of History through Literature: Analysis of Benjamin R. Foster's translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh

The hero in the Epic of Gilgamesh, unlike heroes of Greek mythology, is based on a real king of Sumerian history who ruled over the city-state of Uruk, located in the Mesopotamian area. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature from early civilizations. There are many versions of the Epic that have surfaced but, the most common is the eleven tablet version, which is collaboration of different individual clay tablets written using cuneiform. In this paper, the eleven tablet version translated by Benjamin R. Foster is the topic of discussion. The understanding of the Epic of Gilgamesh is important
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Gilgamesh searched to find immortality as a result of his friend’s death, before that Gilgamesh believed that death did not apply to him. Gilgamesh quest for immortality was a failure and thus he came back to reality and realize he could not be immortal. Abusch describes this conclusion but stating, “…with the subsequent death of Enkidu, a life of heroism loses its meaning, and for Gilgamesh now, only immortality as a human seems to remain as an acceptable option; but such is unattainable, for only gods are immortal while humans must die.” With this being said, this statement shows how the Mesopotamians knew that they were susceptible to death, but was unclear to what happens after …show more content…
The Epic of Gilgamesh has taught a lot about the Early Dynastic Period. Gilgamesh as the individual shows how they were governed, Enkidu shows their religion, and the quest reveals their views on death and immortality. The aspects of individual, friendship and the quest and each individual aspect’s importance to the story shows us that the people of the Mesopotamian are were a people of great understanding to the best of their ability with the tools that they had during their time. Through their literature we have learned a lot of information about early civilizations if the Mesopotamian area during that