Gilgamesh And The Acceptance Of Death Analysis
“Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which cannot exist when I do?”
The Epic of Gilgamesh speaks to the human fear of death and the death of the people who they love and care for. It answers to the existential question of what comes with death and what of the life and connections that have been made during our time one Earth.
The character Gilgamesh goes through different stages while coping with his fear of death. He then embarks on a quest alone after the death of his dear friend Enkidu. This quest is one he takes alone after the death of his dear friend Enkidu at the hands of the gods. The fear of what is to come after the loss of …show more content…
In the allegory of Chin Shih Chin Shin attends Lao Tsu’s funeral but does not mourn like everyone else. He stood there and remained placid in the acceptance of the master’s death. When questioned about his lack of emotion he said, “The Master came because it was time. He left because he followed the natural flow. Be content with the moment.” Chuang Tsu’s instructions to Gilgamesh would be exactly that, be content with what happens and accept that as the truth. Gilgamesh’s reaction to the death of Enkidu was the opposite of that acceptance, rather a very dramatic overreaction. The overreaction comes as the seeking to find deathlessness, denying the Way, and creating more misery and unhappiness for himself. His denial of the Way creates disruption in the natural flow. The Way, or the Tao, is what is emanated in Chuang Tsu’s work, and the acceptance of the Way can lead one to a more fulfilled …show more content…
He emphasizes that the acceptance of how it is, and pursuing what he calls the middle way is how an individual expands their self and their world. The middle way is explained as simply being without seeking out, or needing the recognition of others. The middle way is what Gilgamesh would need to follow to reach the level of godliness he seeks through immortality. Chuang Tsu would tell him that by pursuing the middle way he can grow to become a better ruler. By seeking recognition for the great feats he accomplished with Enkidu, Gilgamesh engaged his hubris, eventually leading to the death of his friend. Emphasis on being a better ruler part is prevalent in the beginning of The Epic of Gilgamesh for in the beginning Gilgamesh is an abusive and selfish ruler. Here, he is seen as having small knowledge, much like Dove and Cicada. Those with small knowledge are limited only to what they know; they often bully those who are bigger or different than them. Gilgamesh bullied his subjects into playing harrowing games with him or practicing filial piety . Chuang Tsu would show Gilgamesh to beauty in all things, setting up an appreciation. The ego often gets in the way of seeing the connections between the self and the world. He needs to set up this appreciation and apply it to his people in Uruk to establish better relations and expand beyond his own