Essay on The Epic Of Gilgamesh

1384 Words Sep 28th, 2016 6 Pages
Psychological triggers and their role in self-discovery as examined in The Epic of Gilgamesh Epics are most often characterized by a flawed hero’s journey or quest to fulfill a fleshly desire, but instead, fulfills the hero’s need for wisdom. Likewise, The Epic of Gilgamesh can be characterized by Gilgamesh’s self-realization of humanity and mortality, discovered by both Gilgamesh and the reader through his quests for fame and immortality. He embarks on two separate journeys. The first journey, the slaying of Humbaba for eternal fame, is the first step of his transformation from a divine and selfish ruler to a very much humbled and wise human one, setting off a series of events that lead him to his second journey, a quest for immortality, brought about after the demise of Gilgamesh’s beloved companion, Enkidu. I propose that it is not the death of a loved one that causes an existential crisis within Gilgamesh, but the reminder that even someone with the god-like abilities of Enkidu could be defeated by death. At the conclusion of his futile second quest, it is clear that Gilgamesh must accept the mortality that accompanies the human heritage, but it is also clear that this resolution is one of circumstance, a conclusion that did not come about peacefully. One could argue that the love and the friendship shared between Gilgamesh and Enkidu, and the subsequent loss of that love and that friendship, trigger his second quest; however, the human emotion, love, is not enough to…

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