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The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

502 words - 3 pages

Can humans live forever? Can a man single-handedly slay a mythical beast? Is it possible for someone to stay awake for six days and seven nights? It seems as though it's possible according to the characters in The Epic of Gilgamesh. This ancient literature represents a story of a quest to it's fullest aspects. The definition of a story of a quest is a story in which a "hero" searches something that all people would like to have. In this case the hero, Gilgamesh, searches for glory as well as immortality, two things that all people would like to have. However, his journeys weren't without it's obstacles. This brings me to another ...view middle of the document...

Enkidu was very much intimidated by Humbaba, and very skeptical about engaging in battle. If it weren't for Gilgamesh's "gun-ho" attitude towards the whole thing, Enkidu would not have had the courage to participate in the battle, and Humbaba would have still been alive reining his evil. Further along in the epic, Enkidu eventually dies and Gilgamesh realizes that he too is a mere mortal and could also die. This sparks his quest for immortality. His journey for immortality was very dangerous because it took him past the boundaries of the "familiar world" and into a place only known by legend, The Great Mountains. Gilgamesh becomes less and less civilized as he gets further away from Uruk. He wears animal skins and his cheeks look "drawn." When he gets to his destination, he speaks to the only man whom the Gods granted immortality. This man gives him the challenge of staying awake for six days and seven nights to prove to the Gods that he is worthy of immortality. Although Gilgamesh fell asleep within the first 10 minutes of talking with him, he was still presented with the challenge to achieve his goal. Maybe it's not possible for a man to live forever, to single-handedly slay a mythical beast, or even to stay awake for six days and seven nights. However, Gilgamesh sought out to achieve these goals and was presented with challenges in order to do so. This is why this story fits the "textbook definition" of a story of a quest.

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