Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 2 | Words: 305
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

This is an excerpt from The Epic of Gilgamesh that comprises twelve tablets. This heroic epic was written in about 2000 BC by an anonymous author. Tablet VII tells about the fate of Enkidu decided by gods. In Enkidu’s nightmare, Enhil condemns him to be punished for the death of the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba, as well as for chopping down the Cedar of the Mountain. The dream comes true when Enkidu gets sick. He is distraught and curses the day when he brought the cedar gate from the wood and everybody including the trapper and the harlot. Shamash interferes and makes Enkidu bless the prostitute who brought a lot of nice things to his life, in particular friendship with Gilgamesh.  The excerpt also includes the description of another dream in which Enkidu is changed into a birdlike creature and gets to the ruler of the underworld. He dies eventually after twelve days of sufferings.

The Epic of Gilgamesh was intended to worship the actual historical character. People wanted to glorify the king known as a builder and a warrior. They collected the stories about his life as well as about the cultural and religious background and created an epic work to leave a footprint in the sand of times. Such stories are hereditary and every new generation reads them to establish their cultural identity.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a mixture of facts and legends. It is full of artistic fiction; however, the readers can learn much about the social structure, religious beliefs, historical past and even political organization of Mesopotamia. It may even be compared to the Bible as it reveals the attitude of people to friendship, death, immortal life and faith. The epic cannot be considered as a credible source. It is a piece of literature that gives an insight into the society.

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