Analyze the ideas about creation of life, and about the differences between deities and heroes and their roles in a culture that you find in “Gilgamesh.”
This is an ancient tale written by the ancient Mesopotamians. It has influenced countless works including the Odyssey, the Bible and the Edda. Its literary, cultural and religious impact and influence cannot be overestimated.
The maze that surrounds the issue of creation is depicted in this tale. The tale tells of a king in Uruk by the name Gilgamesh who is part Human and part god. This confusion makes the king unsure about his limitations in life. Consequently it makes him to be a very arrogant and reckless king. The citizens feel threatened by their leader and they appeal to the sky god –Anu- to free them from the despicable king. Anu decides to create a friend for Gilgamesh. He creates Enkidu – the first man on earth- who is to be a friend to Gilgamesh so that he could have peace in his soul. However, after sometime, Enkidu is sentenced to death by the gods and Gilgamesh is left all alone to search fro his inner self and answer most of his questions about life, in particular death. This story describes the development of humankind from animal to god. Gilgamesh wants to believe that he is god and therefore he does not need to face death, sadness or loneliness as these are human characteristics. The story also brings out the place of the gods or deity and heroes in the society. These are the people and spiritual beings that people turn to when worst comes to worst and for encouragement. The people turned to Anu when Gilgamesh was a really terrible king; they also viewed Enkidu as a hero because he brought sanity and sense to the king Gilgamesh.
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