Role Of The Gods In Gilgamesh

800 Words 4 Pages
The Will of the Gods
The gods represented in Gilgamesh hold a certain resemblance to the way that humans act, and are only set apart through of their immortality, strength, and birthright as a god. The gods are above all men. They form the highest of the class system, though they are not humans in Gilgamesh they still interfere with the human world. The gods influence the humans through dreams and visions, they are the ultimate governing force for mankind, and yet they are detached from the humans and their suffering. The gods in Gilgamesh provide a window into what the lives of the Kings and upper classes of the Mesopotamian societies and how they viewed everyone else within the hierarchy.
The gods used their influence through dreams and visions
…show more content…
If they are displeased by one action or another they may punish mankind without answering to anyone else. Utnapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh about the great flood, and the reason why he survived it. Yet it went untold as to why the gods decided to create a flood to harm mankind. The same with Ishtar in her rage towards Gilgamesh, because she was rejected by him she punished all of mankind with the Bull of Heaven that brought drought. The gods are above the law in Gilgamesh they have no one to answer to, not even the other gods. Kings would also rule this way, as did Gilgamesh. The king makes the rules that the public has to follow, and he provides the punishment for breaking the rules. The king is above the law of man and other than revolution there is no force that had the right to stop him. He was the one chosen by the gods to …show more content…
Through boredom or rage they bring changed to human life, but the consequences of the actions the gods take against man bear little interest to them. In Gilgamesh after Ishtar has been rejected and insulted by Gilgamesh she goes to her father, Anu, to seek help in punishing mankind for Gilgamesh’s reaction to her affections. In reply Anu says “Men need survival after punishment” (44). He doesn’t make an attempt to reason with her other than saying that mankind needed to live. There is detachment between the humans and the gods, because the gods are the highest form of being. The need to protect every aspect of mankind is not relevant, because as long as mankind survives the existence of the gods have meaning. In the same sense a king would feel the same way about his subjects. He would be seen as a second hand to the gods in the world. A king follows no rule other than his own whether it is for the good of his people or not. Yet in the end just as with the gods a king must protect his subjects from outside forces. Without a kingdom there is no king, just as without humans to worship the gods they are

Related Documents