According to the storyline, Gilgamesh was described as a powerful and wise god-like figure who rules the city of Uruk. Even though he possesses great amount of power and authority among his men, he is a very tyrannical, egocentric, and corrupted individual who treats his people with disrespect and would even sexually abuse the women of his men. In general, Gilgamesh is characterized as a disruptive leader who takes full advantage of his people and have oftentimes demanded them to be involved in inappropriate events to fulfill his own enjoyments. It seems clear that Gilgamesh was a fearless character in the beginning of the story and will go about doing almost anything that his mindset tells his to do, whether it is right or wrong.
The story also implicated that Enkidu’s appearance marks an important part of his life after their first encounter in a combat. Enkidu was initially a human-being who grew up with a herd of animals, but later he entered the real society and have picked up the cultures of a civilized world. Although in the beginning Enkidu was seduced by Shamhat with a connotation that Gilgamesh was an enemy and must be murdered, he became very close friends with the main character as they encounter the hardships of life together. Under Gilgamesh’s wrongful leads, Enkidu follows him in a journey with an attempt to rob trees from a Cedar Forest, and during the adventure, the two partners work together and ended killing Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven.
As a result, this tremendously infuriated the gods, and they decided to take Enkidu’s life by letting him endure a period of painful illness because of the punishment. Gilgamesh became very sad after his friend’s death, and he begin to seek for ways of reaching immortality. He eventually came across an immortal individual in the name of Utnapishtim and asked for his input on how to obtain immortality. Utnapishtim tested Gilgamesh’s abilities to determine if he can maintain an endless life, but unfortunately, he did not pass the examination. Gilgamesh was then informed by the wife of Utnapishtim that there is a magic plant that he can use to bring back young age, but when he discovered the plant, it was being robbed by a snake nearby.
As a conclusion, he returned to his country without obtaining his wants of eternity and continued to live a normal life as any mortal individual would. Frankly speaking, the theme of this story tells us about two major points to keep in mind: to be mindful of the power of gods and humans will never live forever, but mankind will always take place in that essence. Throughout the story, Gilgamesh’s selfishness and recklessness not only did not help him achieve any sort of longevity or eternity, he also had to pay the cost of his friend’s life and the lives of others. As the supreme ruler of the Uruk, his intentions should be more oriented towards the public health, safety, and welfare of the society, and he should invest more time to ensure that his people are living a comfortable life and being treated with respect.
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