Analysis Of Gilgamesh's Call To Adventure By Joseph Campbell

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In an interview with Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell describes what it means to be a hero and all the requirements it encompasses. A hero to Campbell is someone who dedicates their life to something or someone other than themselves. The moral objective of being a hero, is saving something, whether it be an individual, a group of people, or an idea. He illustrates a picture that the hero performs at least one of two deeds, if not both; physical and spiritual. The physical deed is defined as the hero who performs an act of war in order to save a life. The second deed is known as the spiritual deed, where the hero experiences a wide range of spirituality in human (Interview). The typical hero pattern Campbell talks about in his interview is known …show more content…
Campbell describes this act as the calling the hero receives to the unknown. Gilgamesh’s Call to Adventure transpires when the trapper requests his help with a situation concerning a man and the escape of the animals he had set traps for. The trapper informs Gilgamesh that he is afraid of this man because of the mans strength, for “he is as strong as a star from heaven and I am afraid to approach him” (Sandars, 64). After hearing this, Gilgamesh orders the trapper to take a harlot to the drinking-hole where the man would be dwelling. When Enkidu falls for the harlot and loses the ability to run with the animals, he meets Gilgamesh. The hero, Gilgamesh, discovers an unknown world of nature that resides within Enkidu. After discovering that there is so much more to the world than what he knew, Gilgamesh was given a third dream. This dream was sent to him by Enlil, the father of the gods. This time, Enkidu was the one to interpret the Gilgamesh’s dream. He explained that the meaning was of the dream was that “the father of the gods has given you kingship, such is your destiny, everlasting life is not your destiny” (Sandars, 70). After hearing this, Gilgamesh decides that they will both go to the forest and destroy the giant named Humbaba. The temporary refusal that is shown in this novel, is what happens next. Enkidu warns Gilgamesh of the fight he is about to enter, he exclaims that “…weakness overpowers whoever goes …show more content…
Before entering the forest Enkidu encourages Gilgamesh to cry out to Shamash for help in defeating Humbaba for they face possible eradication from the monster whose “roar [it] is like the torrent of the storm, his breath is like fire, and his jaws are death itself” (Sandars, 71). Gilgamesh then goes into the presence of the sun and stands before the god beginning for his help. Shamash hears Gilgamesh’s cries and shows him mercy by appointing allies for the them both. These supernatural allies were the great winds that were like vipers, dragons and a scorching fire. Shamash also gave them both axes and swords. Despite the fear that Humbaba brought and with the help of Shamash, the two men were able to triumph. Before their triumph could befall, both men needed to cross the first threshold. The next stage in Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, is called Crossing the First Threshold. This is where the hero transitions from the known world and ventures into the unknown. Gilgamesh and Enkidu enter the Cedar forest, which is the unknown territory for Gilgamesh. The forest is guarded by a guardian, mentioned before, Humbaba. The first night in the forest, Enkidu and Gilgamesh both had a dream that caused them great trouble. The dreams consisted of the heavens roaring, darkness descending upon the earth, lightning flashing, fire blazing out, clouds lowering, and raining down death

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