Argumentative Essay: Gilgamesh As An Anti-Hero

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A hero is someone who is selfless in most aspects of their life. Heros devote their own lives to better the lives of others and live with courage and bravery in their hearts. An anti-hero is the opposite of a hero. Anti-heros are flawed beings who lack the courage and ability that most heroes possess. I believe that Gilgamesh is not a hero, but is in fact an anti-hero. Gilgamesh definitely does not fit my description of a hero for a number of reasons. First, Gilgamesh begins the story as a selfish tyrant who gets exactly what he wants from his people as they cower in fear. Later on in the story, Gilgamesh finds a friend and becomes a little happier, yet still feels the need to make his god-like reputation known to the world. Next, Gilgamesh …show more content…
On the way to defeat Humbaba, Gilgamesh shows that he is not a hero because he lacks courage. Gilgamesh is all ready to defeat the Guardian of the Cedar Forest to better his name, but gets scared along the way. For example, every night of their journey, Gilgamesh has a bad dream and Enkidu must encourage him that the dream actually symbolizes that something good about to happen. Enkidu starts every conversation of encouragement with “Don’t worry, my friend”(Gilgamesh, 108). Another instance where Gilgamesh’s cowardice is exposed is when Gilgamesh and Enkidu reach the Cedar Forest. “He was trembling. Tears flowed down his cheeks.”(Gilgamesh, 116). This book quote shows that Gilgamesh was terrified to even enter the Cedar Forest. After they enter the forest a bit further and reach Humbaba’s den Gilgamesh says, “ I feel haunted. I am too afraid to go on.” (Gilgamesh, 123) Again, Enkidu has to supply the courage for Gilgamesh and goad him to continue. These examples from the journey to the forest show that Gilgamesh is definitely not a hero because his anxiety and dread are exposed more than …show more content…
While they live to support the ones around them, their bravery and courage is vibrantly displayed. Because a hero is someone with these qualities, I feel that Gilgamesh was always intended to be the anti-hero of the story. Gilgamesh possesses qualities that are the exact opposite of a hero. He is a tyrant, selfish, a coward, and ultimately fails at his goals. His tyrannical reign starts at the beginning of the story when he decides that he is above all of the townspeople of Uruk. He becomes selfish when he decides to destroy the protector of the forest to strengthen the value of his own name. On the way to destroy the forest monster, Gilgamesh’s cowardice is shown because he claims to be scared during several occasions during the journey. Lastly, when Gilgamesh’s friend Enkidu dies, he tries to escape death and fails his trials to become an immortal being. An anti-hero is someone who is flawed, faced with a challenge, and ultimately fails that challenge. Therefore, I feel that Gilgamesh is not a hero, but in fact the anti-hero of the

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