Gods In Gilgamesh

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The Epic of Gilgamesh is a tale of the grand adventures that Gilgamesh experiences during a period of his life. The tale enraptures its audience with its portrayal of Mesopotamian theology and its themes of love, morality, death, and gods. There are many lessons and concepts that can be drawn from the Epic of Gilgamesh. However, an intriguing topic to be discussed is the risky relations between mankind and the gods in Gilgamesh. The story shows that gods are beings not to be trifled with despite their tendencies to be irrational and emotional. There is a fine line between the interactions of men and gods. If it is overstepped, heavy consequences will occur. The story provides many examples of this throughout its tale.
The most known example
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The duo is so prideful that they paraded through the streets of Uruk, with the servant women proclaiming: “Who is the most glorious of males? Gilgamesh is the most glorious of males? She of whom we flung the haunch in our passion, Ishatar, she has no one in the street to satisfy her” (87). However, their action of extreme hubris has now insulted the gods. What Gilgamesh and Enkidu have forgotten during their feelings of empowerment over the conquests is that they are merely mortals and that they are fallible to death at any moment. It is the absolute truth that all men die, and Gilgamesh is reminded of this fact when the gods condemn Enkidu to death for the duo’s insults against the gods. Enkidu dreams a vivid dream about his journey to judgment; in the “house of dust” he entered was “the queen of the netherworld, Ereshkigal” who said to him “who brought this man?” (91) It is there that Enkidu realizes that he is about to die. He cries out to Gilgamesh to remember him and “do not forget what I have undergone” (91). Enkidu’s death is not a death of glory; it is a death of agonizing pain and sickness that draws out for days. It is during this event that Enkidu and Gilgamesh realize that death is inevitable.
Enkidu comes to peace with the idea of death after hearing Shamash’s speech. Enkidu’s “raging heart was calmed” about the tragedy of men’s morality by Shamash’s speech
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Gilgamesh goes on a dangerous journey in search of the long living man in where he goes through perilous forests, dark tunnels, and dangerous seas till he finally meets the famed immortal man. At all turns of Gilgamesh’s journey, he is urged to stop his quest of immortality, even Utnapshitim tells him to stop him and that death is inevitable and destined by the gods. In face of Gilgamesh’s insistence, Utnapshitim gives him a task: to go without sleep for a solid week. Gilgamesh fails this test by sleeping for seven days; Utnapshitim’s wife proves this by baking loaves of breads and writing tally marks. Later on, by his wife’s urging, Utnapshitim gives Gilgamesh another tasks for immortality. It is a plant in the sea that Gilgamesh calls, ‘Old Man Has Become Young-Again-Man” that makes one become young again (109). However, Gilgamesh fails again for a snake steals the plant when Gilgamesh is distracted. Gilgamesh cries for his loss. “For whom has my heart’s blood been poured out? For myself I have obtained no effort, I have done a good deed for a reptile” (109). Gilgamesh finally heads home, having failed at his two tasks and realizing that he is destined to

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