The Odyssey And The Epic Of Gilgamesh: Life Matters

1691 words - 7 pages

In both, The Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh, the protagonist goes on an arduous adventure that changes his inherent persona. In The Odyssey, Odysseus embarks on a journey with his crew to return home to his wife Clytemnestra after the fall of Troy. A notable incident he goes through is being courted by Circe but he is able to escape by rejecting her. However, he and his crew go through a lot of obstacles in their journey, some of which includes how Odysseus witnesses the death of his beloved crewmembers. These adventures produced a glorious life story that is similarly close to that of Gilgamesh’s. (Chamberlain 7 Jan. 2011) In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh goes on adventures with his friend Enkidu. They kill the monster Humbaba and later on, Gilgamesh is courted by the goddess Ishtar. However Gilgamesh rejects her and she vows revenges which causes her to call upon the bull of heaven to destroy Gilgamesh’s country. Enkidu kills the bull while sacrificing himself in the process. After witnessing Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh is afraid of what death and what life really has to offer. So Gilgamesh goes on his own journey to find immortality and sees for himself what life really offers for human mortality. In the end, Gilgamesh misses his chance of achieving eternal life but he realizes that even though he will die, the life adventures he experienced have made life worth living for.
Gilgamesh’s story begins when he is born from a goddess. He was born two-thirds divine and one-third mortal. Because of his mortality, he could die even though he was part celestial. The story then turns to a different man who was born with an animalistic nature, Enkidu. Enkidu has an uncultivated persona, but he loses it and gains insight instead when he has sex for a prolonged period of time with a harlot. When Gilgamesh first meets Enkidu, they start to fight, but as time progresses, they become friends. They grow to be such close friends that they become practically brothers. Gilgamesh, like Enkidu, also has an uncultivated nature but he starts to get tamed by Enkidu much in the same way as the harlot tamed Enkidu. This similarity between them is one of the reasons why they develop such a close relationship. These two close friends travel together and endure many noticeable trials in life. The first adventure they go through is finding Humbaba who is a monster that guards a pine forest. Although Humbaba doesn’t hurt people, the duo goes on a quest to defeat him in order to make a name for themselves. They eventually kill Humbaba but that ended up as a bad idea since the gods favored Humbaba. Even though the gods don’t seem to favor Gilgamesh or Enkidu anymore, the goddess of sex, Ishtar, gives herself to Gilgamesh but ends up being rejected by him. This angers Ishtar, and she vows revenge by using the bull of heaven to destroy Uruk, Gilgamesh’s city. Enkidu helps Gilgamesh by killing the bull of heaven but dies in the process of doing...

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