Gilgamesh Literary Analysis

1961 Words 8 Pages
“The Epic of Gilgamesh” is an epic poem written by Morris Jastrow, Jr. that is centered around the character Gilgamesh and his many endeavors. He is best described as a great leader who is powerful, strong, and determined. Although there is something very different about Gilgamesh that we see in no other character throughout our readings, he is two-thirds god and one third man. Gilgamesh is on the edge of being a god, but his lineage causes him to be part human. Therefore, by being human, he is not immortal like the gods above, and we learn throughout this epic that Gilgamesh would do everything in his power to be immortal.
Throughout this edifying piece of literature, Gilgamesh experiences many ups and downs which in turn lead to a great
…show more content…
Although after studying various scholarly, critical essays, it seems to me that the gods were trying to teach Gilgamesh a lesson, and help him to be the leader that they knew he could be.
When we are first introduced to the character of Gilgamesh, we can conclude that he is a self-centered and arrogant man. Micah Sadigh explains this concept well in his critical essay entitled “The foundation of existentialism in the oldest story ever told: The Epic of Gilgamesh” by explaining the character, Gilgamesh:
He is a powerful, demanding, oppressive, highly sexual ruler who is two thirds deity and one third human. No one can challenge him, as he is a relentless, matchless warrior who is well aware of his own prowess, to the point that he considers himself undefeatable, even immortal. (Sadigh, paragraph 4)
The gods send him Enkidu to be a match for him. They didn’t send Enkidu with the thought that him and Gilgamesh would become friends and become each other’s other
…show more content…
There are even some ideas that some of the gods would have rather not lived an immortal life but kept their power and abilities in the mortal, human state like that of Gilgamesh. Also, I even stumbled across the idea throughout my thorough research that some feel that Gilgamesh was a good leader. Some individuals feel that it was right for Gilgamesh to be self-centered and consumed with himself because he was the leader and a leader is supposed to be great, powerful, and confident. Although, I see it to be correct that the gods were trying to teach Gilgamesh a lesson and look out for him because they see all the potential he holds, and they know what is best for him since after all, they are gods. The gods didn’t want to intentionally harm Gilgamesh, but they had to let him experience the pain of losing his friend to understand that there are more important aspects in the world than himself. (Goff, Gilgamesh the Giant) Also, if the gods were jealous of him, they would not have let Enkidu be friends with him. They would have killed Enkidu before, but instead they didn’t and wouldn’t have killed him until he did something that called for some sort of punishment. Lastly, good leaders are not self-centered and consumed with themselves. If Gilgamesh was a good leader, then the people of Uruk wouldn’t have informed the gods about how

Related Documents