The Epic Of Gilgamesh - Greed Over Gifts

703 words - 3 pages

Throughout The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh and Enkidu both had a pessimistic view of life, because the idea that they were going to die one day was constantly in the back of their mind. Gilgamesh obsessed over his pursuit of immortality until the day he died, which ultimately wasted his life away and caused the early death of his best friend Enkidu. Both men were fortunate and were given so many amazing traits, but they took them for granted and didn’t enjoy them while they were still alive, because they wanted more time. I believe that Enkidu and Gilgamesh’s life is meaningless because the afterlife is nothing to look forward to outlook on life was just them not appreciating the incredible life they were given.

From the very beginning of the epic, we are given countless reasons to believe that King Gilgamesh should have a comfortable satisfying life, just as most kings do. But if we were to make this assumption we would be partially wrong, because although Gilgamesh has all the things that most people would need to be content, he is not. He craves more. He longs to “establish [his] name” (7) by “set[ting] up his name in the place where the names of famous men are written”, in hopes that the gods will grant him immortality for this task. This is because he is very flawed and his biggest flaw of all is his extreme fear of his inevitable death.
During Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s irresponsible journey they upset multiple gods which let to Enkidu’s demise. On his deathbed, he began to curse everyone that helped him become the man he was, but before he could finish he was scolded by Shamash. She questioned his motives behind cursing the woman “who taught [him] how to eat” (Epic, p.13), gave him “a magnificent garment” (Epic, p.13), and introduced him to his newfound brother Gilgamesh. At this moment Enkidu took all of his harsh words back and blessed everyone he cursed in return. Shamash’s words finally put all of the fortunes Enkidu had in his life in perspective ...

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