Comparing the Epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis
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The Epic of Gilgamesh has many similarities to the Bible, especially in Genesis and it’s not just that the both begin with the letter “g”’! One major similarity being the flood story that is told in both works. The two stories are very similar but also very different. Another being the use of serpents in both works and how they represent the same thing. A third similarity being the power of God or gods and the influence they have on the people of the stories. Within these similarities there are also differences that need to be pointed out as well. The flood story that is told in The Epic of Gilgamesh has the same principle as the story of Noah told in the book of Genesis in the Bible, but there are some major differences. In the epic,…show more content…
Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” This was God’s command to Noah, unlike Utnapishtim who was told the secret of the flood by one of the gods. Serpents also play a big role in both the epic and in Genesis. It says in Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”” The serpent in
Message of Love in the Epic of Gilgamesh
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The Message of Love in Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh is an epic of great love, followed by lingering grief that causes a significant change in character. It is the story of a person who is feared and honored, a person who loves and hates, a person who wins and loses and a person who lives life. Gilgamesh's journey is larger than life, yet ends so commonly with death. Through Gilgamesh, the fate of mankind is revealed, and the inevitable factor of change is expressed.
Before the coming of Enkidu, Gilgamesh was a man of great power. A being for which there was no equal match, Gilgamesh boasted about his overwhelming glory and power. However, his arrogance was accompanied with an extensive abuse of power, which pushed the city of Uruk into a state of rage. Still Gilgamesh felt no despair; he lived to display to others his majestic power. The first sign of a sincere change in Gilgamesh arises as a result of the birth of Enkidu. From the beginning, a powerful link developed between man and woman. The wise Ninsun said to Gilgamesh,"You will love him as a woman and he will never forsake you". Gilgamesh had finally met his match, a friend that would serve as his life-long companion. Upon the seal of this great friendship, Gilgamesh began to change his selfish ways. Nevertheless, he shared with Enkidu the luxuries of kindness. Setting aside his great pride and power, Gilgamesh had opened a place in his heart, and in his sumptuous life, for his beloved brother.
The second significant change in Gilgamesh was caused by the loss of his brotherly companion, Enkidu. Gilgamesh couln't bear the loss of a love so powerful. Despite his astonishing power and leadership, something in his life was missing. Moreover, he wept for seven days and nights, thinking his friend would come back because of his weeping. It is in this stage of the epic that one can see the truly sympathetic and compassionate side of Gilgamesh. The grief in his heart had far surpassed the magnificent pride that he had previously displayed so boldly. Enkidu's death left Gilgamesh frightened and confused. However, the despair in his heart was so great that he could not rest; would he ever be at peace? Thus, he became terrified of his own death.
After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh tries to find immortality by trying to cross the ocean to find it.
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Epic Of Gilgamesh Message Abuse Of Power Enkidu Companion Seal Match Kindness Display
As he sounded so pathetic he rambles of his reason for trying to find everlasting life. Moreover, his state of being at this part was completely different from his arrogance from beginning of this epic. Gilgamesh has gone from arrogant to scared. Thirdly, the death of Humbaba changes Gilgamesh. Humbaba was evil. Many people who lived in the city of Uruk feared Gilgamesh. Most would say that Gilgamesh himself is, in fact, evil. In addition, he had sex with the virgins, he does what he wants, and tends to offend the gods. By going into the forest and facing Humbaba, Gilgamesh makes a name for himself and changes the views of the people in his city. However, the past of Gilgamesh does not change but the great deed of killing Humbaba makes him a better person because he protects his city. Most would say that he does this only to make a name for himself, but that is not the case. Gilgamesh does this because of his love for Enkidu and his people.
Puzzled and searching for answers, Gilgamesh set out on a quest for Utnapishtim. It is on this great journey that Gilgamesh learns of a secret plant, which restores his lost youth to a man. Once again, Gilgamesh displays his changed character. He proclaims that he will return to Uruk and share the plant with his people. "I will take it to Uruk of the strong walls; there I will give it to the old men to eat," Gilgamesh said. Although Gilgamesh failed in returning the magical plant to his city, the signifance of his underlying intentions is immeasurable. Gilgamesh, the once arrogant and overpowering king, was now thinking of the well being of his people.
Although, it should not matter as to whether or not our society perceives Gilgamesh as a notable hero. More importantly, a valuable lesson of mankind is taught through the Epic of Gilgamesh. Perhaps, it is love that binds our world together. We learn from Gilgamesh that a powerful companionship allows us to better analyze others and ourselves. Thus, the relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh should remain an inspiration to us all. Like Gilgamesh, our fate is to travel the journey of life, to slay one who is evil with the help of our gods, to survive and mourn some of those we love, and leave the world with as many good deeds as possible.