Epic Of Gilgamesh The Question Of Mortality - ACP Literature IU - Essay

565 words - 3 pages

Simon Davies 8667316414
In literature, one of the most explored themes, from the ancient Greek to modern times, is
the inevitability of man’s own demise. The uncertainty of an afterlife serves as a catalyst for
man’s innate struggle to gain immortality. This constant stream of consciousness is particularly
evident in the short story the “Epic of Gilgamesh.” Within this folklore, the reader is immersed in
the struggle that death is inevitable. Death is explored multiple times, most particularly, in the
fall of Humbaba, Enkidu’s death, the destruction of Shurrupak and Gilgamesh own expiry. These
examples serve to demonstrate to the reader that man cannot achieve the ultimate status of
immortality rather it is maintained that mankind’s life is at the pleasure of omniscient powers
that serve as the face of death.
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, death is an entity that is defined as man’s greatest hurdle. The
story dispels the notion that man possesses the innate ability to defend against the inevitable
demise of one’s own physical being. The story clarifies that while death cannot be avoided it can
be sparked by man’s disobedience to the gods. “So the gods agreed to exterminate
mankind.” (108)- In this example, man irritates the gods by being too loud resulting in the gods’
inability to sleep. As result of this annoyance, the gods retaliate against humanity with a
devastating flood that kills all of Shurrupak. This action demonstrates the fragility of human life
while at the same time acknowledging the existence of supreme powers. The flood serves as a
personification of natural disaster by defining disaster a direct result of man’s flaws and the gods’
When Gilgamesh and Enkidu faced th...

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