Essay on Royalty and Their Defense of Citizens

1140 Words 5 Pages
From the time that people drew together, and began relying on one ruler, there were certain standards a king must uphold. Whether it was the stocking, and division of surplus foods, or the partitioning up of land to the nobles, the king was the ultimate word on such matters. The citizens of the land should be able to look to their leaders, during these times, and in times of trouble. It is through epic tales that we are granted a look into the past, and at the leaders who once held sway over the lands.
Here we have two tales depicting for us the lives and roles of such great leaders, separated by over 3000 years. Our first legend is of Gilgamesh, who was seen as the link between his people and their gods, and was to maintain justice,
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The people also prayed that, “His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warriors daughter nor the wife of the noble; yet this is the shepherd of the city, wise, comely, and resolute” Gilgamesh is too busy messing around with all the women of his land, instead of ruling his people. We can see sarcasm in this prayer, because Gilgamesh has turned his back on his duties. Here are characteristics a just ruler should show towards his people, yet Gilgamesh is not doing any of this, because he is caught up in carnal lust.
The goddess Aruru creates Enkidu, who challenges Gilgamesh, to rise up and be the king his people require. His place in the tale is that of conscience, to remind the king to uphold the laws of the land, and protect his people. To go out into the world and destroy that, which would destroy his people. Later on in the tale we are told of Enkidu’s death, and how Gilgamesh laments his friend, going on a quest for eternal life. In the end he realizes the only ones allowed immortality are the gods, but man can live on through thoughts and his deeds. In this Gilgamesh is truly correct, because we are still able to read and are given an understanding of Mesopotamian life with this epic tale.
Our textbook The Making of the West tells us that, “Writing developed when people created symbols instead of pictures to represent the sound of speech.” The first system of writing was put onto clay tablets, by

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