The Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

1517 Words Jan 24th, 2013 7 Pages
There are many vices and virtues displayed in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a tale from ancient Babylon. Its hero, Gilgamesh the king of Uruk, is two-thirds god and one-third man. Throughout the epic, which consists of three stories, the character of Gilgamesh is developed. This is accomplished by changing the vices he possesses at the start of the epic, and replacing them with virtues he receives by its completion. “A virtue is a quality of righteousness, goodness, or moral excellence; any good quality or admirable trait of a character.” (Halsey Collier’s Dictionary 1114) “A vice is an immoral or harmful habit or practice; fault or fall” (Halsey Collier’s Dictionary 1111). Gilgamesh is not the only character in the …show more content…
Out of loyalty to his friend, Enkidu remains, and together they defeat Humbaba. Throughout the epic, Enkidu remains loyal to Gilgamesh, a valued companion to the king. The death of Enkidu, the loss of this loyal friend, becomes a turning point for Gilgamesh in the epic.
In the last section of the Epic of Gilgamesh, titled “The Return”, the character Utnapishtim is instructing Gilgamesh how to find the plant of immortality. His wisdom and knowledge is the reason Gilgamesh finds the plant. Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh “There is a plant that grows under the water, it has a prickle like a thorn, like a rose; it will wound your hand, but if you succeed in taking it, then your hands will hold that which restores his lost youth to man.” (Sandars 31). Since he is immortal himself, Utnapishtim knows where to find this plant. He is also wise because he knows that Gilgamesh, even though he is two- thirds god, will not become immortal. Gilgamesh is not destined to live forever, and will eventually die.
The god Ea shows compassion towards Utnapishtim during the story of the flood. Enlil, supreme among all the gods in the epic, was disturbed by the loudness of the people on earth. He was determined to punish them by exterminating them. He addressed the other gods, who agreed with his plan, with one exception. The god Ea

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