Punishments In The Epic Of Gilgamesh, Popol Vuh And Genesis

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Relationship Between God and Man Within Myths Gods have expectations that man struggles to understand. The Epic of Gilgamesh, Popol Vuh, and Genesis, like many creation stories, show similar themes that create a common lesson for the reader to learn from. There are rules, laws and commandments that the gods use to instruct man on how to live. When these commandments are broken, the gods impose punishments that show their authority over man. The punishment is not only given to the immediate offender, but to all of mankind. In these three works, the punishments inflicted by the gods are used to show how man is supposed to live. To begin, the book of Genesis is one creation myth that shows how gods punish man in order to show them how they are …show more content…
In the story, Enkidu lives in the wilderness peacefully and a harlot comes to him trying to tempt him with sex. After Enkidu is satisfied with the harlot, “[t]he gazelles saw Enkidu, they started to run, /the beasts of the field shield away from his presence. /Enkidu had defied his body so pure, /his legs stood still, though his herd was in motion. /Enkidu was weakened, could not run as before, /but now he had reason, and wide understanding” (Gilgamesh 8). The gods punish Enkidu for falling under the temptation of the harlot. This is similar to the man in the Genesis that fell under temptation and was punished for it. The gods weaken Enkidu and the animals he lived with turn and shun him in order to show him that what he did was not pleasing to the gods. Later on in the story Enkidu and Gilgamesh return to their city after killing, Humbaba, the guardian of the Cedar Forest. When they return, Ishtar pleads for Gilgamesh to be her husband but Gilgamesh refuses. Enkidu then has a dream that states, “[b]ecause they they slew the Bull of Heaven, and slew Humbaba that [guarded] the mountains dense – [wooded] with cedar, … between these two [let one of them die] (Gilgamesh 55). The gods were displeased with Enkidu and Gilgamesh for killing both Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven. The punishment that was given to Enkidu was death, which also punished Gilgamesh …show more content…
In this story Seven Macaw was very proud and boastful. The sun and moon were very dim but he declared himself to be great and a light for those who had drowned in the flood. Two twins named Hunahpu and Xbalanque saw the evil in Seven Macaw and shot his jaw with a blowgun. When Seven Maca returned home he told his wife, “[t]wo demons shot me. My jaw was dislocated by them, and now my teeth torment me with pain” (Popol Vuh 85). Although the gods are not the ones that punish Seven Macaw, the punishment he receives represents the same idea that his actions did not align with what the gods wanted. He was very prideful of himself and because of that it led to his downfall. Even though the twins were the ones that harmed Seven Macaw, his prideful actions did not align with what the gods wanted. The punishments given in the Popol Vuh story are not given by the gods but similarly to Genesis and The Epic of Gilgamesh, they reflect the displeasure the gods have with the actions that are

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