Gilgamesh's Quest for Immortality Essays

836 Words Nov 2nd, 2008 4 Pages
In the epic poem Gilgamesh, the main theme is Gilgamesh’s quest to defeat the demon that is in the back of every human’s mind at all times: death. His quest to defeat mankind’s penultimate battle proves futile in the end, yet could Gilgamesh be considered to be immortal in a different sense? Immortality can exist on two planes: both a physical and metaphorical world. Gilgamesh did fail is his quest to live tangibly forever, and therefore seeks everlasting life in an allegorical sense. If he could create something, an idea or an action that will be remembered forever, such as killing Humbaba, he too can live forever via this accomplishment. So, in a sense, Gilgamesh did actually succeed in his quest for eternal life. Gilgamesh has …show more content…
Obviously, Gilgamesh will not live on as an immortal forever. However, he manifests himself in an action that will live on forever—killing Humbaba. So, he lives eternally through the execution of this action. The fact that he could live on forever in the minds of men is alluded to several times in the text. When Gilgamesh and Enkidu leave on their quest to slay Humbaba, Gilgamesh says, “I will cut down the tree, I will kill Humbaba,

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