Gilgamesh Compare and Constrast Essay

This essay has a total of 1686 words and 7 pages.


n The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh, the hero of this epic, achieves many feats of
skill, which makes him famous, but that is not the reason it is an epic. The Epic of
Gilgamesh fulfills the requirements of an epic by being consistently relevant to a human
society and carries immortal themes and messages. By looking at literature throughout
history, one can infer the themes that are consistently passed on to other generations
of humans. It is in human nature for people to want to excel in life and strive to make
a name in this world for themselves. We want to be remembered by name or for
something we have done. Most, who actually succeed, are forgotten about in a
matter of years. However, some are remembered for tens, hundreds, and even
thousands of years, because of their great intellectual achievement to feats of
outstanding skill.

Gilgamesh is not only a character of a story; he is actually a portrayal of
people and how they act out of human nature. He, like many of us, does not want his
existence to end when he leaves this world. He is not content with what he has, well
looks, money, and power, and desires more in life. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story
that we, as people, can relate to. There are similarities between Gilgamesh's journeys
and our own journey through life. Some of the texts that will be compared with the
Epic of Gilgamesh, are the Bible, and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry
Finn. The characters of these stories are all have that burning desire to be successful
in life, which we can relate to. These texts span across different time periods and
societies illustrating how human nature, particularly the desire to obtain more than one
possesses, plays a significant role throughout written and present human history.

It is in human nature to want to be recognized and receive what one think he
or she may deserve. In the Bible, one of many themes is the quest for something
greater than what the seeker currently has, in terms of stature or wealth. One of many
examples are the theft of Esau's birthright by Jacob. In Genesis 25: 27-34, Esau Sells
His Rights as the First-Born Son, Jacob wanted more than his proper inheritance, he
wanted the rights as the first-born son. His brother Esau was hungry and asked for
some soup that Jacob was cooking. Jacob answered, "I will give it to you if you give
me your rights as the first-born son." Jacob could not be content with what he
already had. He wanted a larger portion of the inheritance entitled to the one who is
the first-born as well as the title. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh seeks to gain
more fame by attempting feats of great proportion. One of the feats is the slaying of
Humbaba, the giant beast who is the keeper of a !
forest. By doing so, Gilgamesh becomes famous for killing the dreaded Humbaba,
even though it does not pose any threat to people who stay out of that particular
forest. "Together we will accomplish a work the fame of which will never
dieyour dream is good, your dream is excellent, the mountain which you
saw is Humbaba, Now, Surely, we will seize and kill him." He does this is for fame as
well as access to the cedar trees. After this event, he announces to every person he
meets, "I killed the watchman of the cedar forest, and I killed the lions in
the passes of the mountain." Both Gilgamesh and Jacob wanted more than they had.
Jacob already had an inheritance coming to him, but desired more of it as well as
recognition as the first-son. Gilgamesh already had good looks, strength, and
kingship, yet he had to go out and kill Humbaba to gain fame and rights to cedar trees
for it. Jacob still would have gotten part of the inheritance without taking t!
he first-son birth rights from his brother, and Gilgamesh still could get access to the
cedar trees without killing Humbaba, yet that was not enough for them.

Most people would not find their life as fulfilling without adventure. In Mark
Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck sees life as an adventure and lives
it out in that fashion. Huck runs away from home and lives through many perils for
basically sheer excitement. "We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all.
Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft doesn't. You feel mighty
free and easy, and comfortable on a raftwhat he (Tom) had planned in his
head from the start was for us to run him down the river on a raft, and have
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