Gilgamesh Essay

953 Words Dec 3rd, 2011 4 Pages
Topical Essay 1

The story of “Gilgamesh” depicts all of the heroic triumphs and heart-breaking pitfalls a heroic narrative should depict to be able to relate to today’s audience. However, “Gilgamesh” was once considered a lost and forgotten piece of literature for thousands of years, so there is a tremendous gap between the time it was created and the time it was translated into language that today’s audience can understand. That gap in history makes several aspects of the story of “Gilgamesh” strange and unfamiliar because what we now know about ancient Middle Eastern cultures and languages is a lot less than what we know about the cultures that prospered after ancient Middle Eastern cultures. Much of the content in the story of
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The other aspect that was familiar to today’s audience was Gilgamesh’s reasoning for wanting to slay Humbaba. Gilgamesh wanted himself and Enkidu to be honored and recognized for doing something that no one has done before. Gilgamesh wanted to be praised and recognized as a hero to the people of Uruk. Throughout the story of “Gilgamesh” he embarked on the familiar journey of notoriety. This is very common in many of today’s heroic tales as well. I thought Gilgamesh and Enkidu starting off as enemies and becoming dear friends soon after was another familiar aspect of the story of “Gilgamesh.” Their strong friendship and alliance showed a common bond that today’s audience would immediately relate to and latch on to. When Enkidu died you can almost feel Gilgamesh’s pain through the pages you were reading the story from. That type of pain and emotion is so familiar to today’s audience because it leaves a lasting effect on the reader. In conclusion, the story of Gilgamesh was entertainingly strange and familiar to today’s audience because of it once being a lost work of literature and it containing several elements that today’s audience can relate to. After reading the story of “Gilgamesh” I have a better understanding of how knowing about a certain culture can change your opinion on how you view certain elements in a story. If I was more knowledgeable of ancient Middle Eastern cultures I might not have found some of the elements I thought were strange to be

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