The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a historical epic poem. It doesn't have just on author but
many authors from when it was passed from generation to generation. It takes place
between 2700 and 2500 b.c. in a Sumarian city. Gilgamesh and his faithful friend, Enkidu,
go on many wild adventures. In this quest story, Gilgamesh searches for immortality,
overcomes many obstacles, and realizes what he has already achieved.
Gilgamesh becomes worried about his mortality, and as a result of this, he goes in
search of everlasting life. He goes to see Utnapishtim who has survived the great flood
and is going to live forever. In a quest story, it must contain a hero trying to reach his
goal. Gilgamesh's goal is to obtain immortality. When he reaches Utnapishtim, he is told
that there is no permanence.
On this journey they encounter many obstacles. Gilgamesh and Enkidu go on a
mission to destroy Humbaba. They succeed in doing this, but only with the help of
Shamash, the sungod. Ishtar tries to win over Gilgamesh but he rejects her, and in rage
she sends the mighty Bull of Heaven to threaten Uruk. Gilgamesh and Enkidu slay the
Bull of Heaven, but the Enkidu has a dream that the gods are angry at him for killing
Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven and have ordered him to die. Enkidu does indeed die.
Then Gilgamesh travels to Utnapishtim. This is when Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh that
there is no permanence, so he becomes determined to prove his worthiness. He faced on
of his challenges of resisting sleep for six days and seven nights.
Gilgamesh then realizes eternal life is something he will never be able to grasp. He
realizes that everything he has already accomplished is more than any other human being
could achieve. Before he returns he dives for a magical flower to take back to his people.
A serpent takes this flower, and this makes him very upset but he can do nothing.
Gilgamesh fails to reach his goal, but he overcomes many obstacles, and he
accomplished so much it didn't matter if he was immortal or not. This story just states that
death is part of life