, Research Paper
The epic of Gilgamesh is story about death and friendship, these are two main themes in the book. Gilgamesh is the one who has to come to grips with the reality that death is inevitable, and that friendship is a necessity. When Enkidu dies Gilgamesh cant deal with it, he starts to think that if his friend can die that he too is only mortal, the first thing he does is go into denial about his mortality. He goes off on his quest to find eternal life and soon comes to realize that he cannot become immortal and decides to accept death. The other theme in the book is one of friendship; it shows that the bond between Enkidu and Gilgamesh was strong enough to stand up against the gods. When Gilgamesh and Enkidu first defeat Humbaba, they anger the gods. The gods send the bull of heaven, but they defeat him too; finally the gods take their anger out on Enkidu and kill him, this is the only way that they can defeat Gilgamesh. When Gilgamesh and Enkidu were together they were invincible but after Enkidus death Gilgamesh is defeated.
The basic story of Gilgamesh is about, Gilgamesh who is the kind of a city called Uruk. Gilgamesh is egotistical and unkind to his people, the people are very displeased with him. Soon Gilgamesh starts to hear rumors of a wild man who lives with animals; Gilgamesh sends out a priest to go civilize him, the priest shows the wild man named Enkidu the ways of civilization by sleeping with him. Enkidu decides to follow the priest into Uruk, when he reaches Uruk he is greatly admired. Gilgamesh hears of this and he goes to meet Enkidu, soon as the two men see each other they begin to fight. During the fight they both look at each other and start to realize that they are both equals, and they decide to form a friendship instead.
Soon after Enkidu and Gilgamesh have become friends, Gilgamesh decides he wants to go kill the guardian of the cedar forest; Humbaba. Both men leave the city for the forests, on the way there Gilgamesh starts to get scared but Enkidu reassures him, when they finally reach the forests Enkidu becomes afraid but Gilgames insists on finishing their quest. Both men go on to defeat Humbaba, which in turn angers the gods.
When they return to Uruk, Gilgamesh gets a marriage proposal from the goddess Ishtar. Gilgamesh not only turns her down but insults her as well, the godess Ishtar goes to her father Anu and asks him to send down the bull of heaven to kill Enkidu and Gilgamesh. Anu sends the bull of heaven but Enkidu and Gilgamesh defeat him.
After Enkidu and Gilgamesh defeat the bull of heaven Enkidu has a dream that the gods will punish him for the evil deeds he has committed with Gilgamesh. Soon after the dream Enkidu gets very sick and dies. Gilgamesh is heart broken by the death of his friend, he recalls all that they achieved together and mourns for a very long time. Soon his sadness turns into fear, he realizes if Enkidu can die that Gilgamesh can too. He sets out on a journey to see a man named Utnapishtim who is said to be immortal. The journey is very dangerous, no man has ever made it before. Gilgamesh crosses the gardens of the gods and the waters of death to finally reach the old man. The answer the old man tells him that no man is immortal that we all must die sooner or later, but he does give him a plant that can make you younger. On the way home from this journey Gilgamesh encounters a serpent who steal the plant from him. Gilgamesh then realizes that no matter how hard he tries that he will die, all men do.
I happened to like the book, it has a very simple but true story line. The book was made more interesting by the fact that it was written so long ago. The story of Gilgamesh teaches you lesson that is true no matter what time it is read in, it was true a thousand years ago and it is true today. I personally enjoyed reading the book and would recommend to anyone to do the same.