Classics Essay, Research Paper
Humans during the time of The Epic of Gilgamesh depended heavily on the premonitions and forecasts of the gods. The residents of the town named Uruk awaited the messages in their dreams and through various signs. Another way people foretold the future was through divination, which is not used any more. Examples throughout the book lead me to believe that the humans could not lead meaningful lives unless the humans had the backing and confidence of the gods. My essay will discuss relevant instances throughout the book which focus on the relationship between the gods and the humans.
The positive relationship is evident from the beginning of the book when a goddess named Aruru creates a man out of clay named Enkidu. Enkidu is designed in order to stop Gilgamesh, who also was made with the help of the god Shamash. These gods not only make mortals, but they live their lives through the mortals. These gods can be capricious, meaning that they can be sweet and caring to the mortals, yet the next second, they can be evil and cause thunderstorms, such as the god in charge, Enlil. Another possible idea thought about in epics is that the gods also create monsters in sacred and precious places. For instance, a dragon-figure named Humbaba guarded the cedar palace which was a haven for a historical nugget needed for architecture. The Epic of Gilgamesh also included some sad moments. Enkidu did not have to die. The gods made him die because he angered a goddess.
Was it fair for these gods to make such rash decisions and destroy mortals? Of course not! Yet, during the years of 2700 B.C., the gods ruled the world whether or not they lived with the mortals. Finally, the relationship between the gods and the mortals is simply one-sided. The gods decide everything that happens and refuse to be out-smarted by the simple mortals. For this reason, the humans look up to gods and will do anything and everything in order to keep them happy.