The Epic of Gilgamesh - Essay Example

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The present essay entitled "The Epic of Gilgamesh" dwells on the myths of Mesopotamia. As the author puts it, the Epic of Gilgamesh seems a plain legend, however, is a high-valued paper that lifts the veil on much essential information concerning social and political development…
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The Epic of Gilgamesh
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The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh seems a plain legend, however, is a high-valued paper that lifts the veil on much essential information concerning social and political development. Special attention in the document is paid to the changeable role of women.
People from Mesopotamia used the epic of Gilgamesh to explain different facts and phenomena such as death and desire to gain a power. The legend shows that people of that time had a very vague and mixed understanding of everything around. Notwithstanding that, their desire to explain everything around was great. Different phenomena of our world not only attracted their attention but needed explanations. Their views were at the stage of developing, the explanations were not definite and many things were still explained by the existence of different gods. It is clear from the legend that the main goal of these people was to kill somebody and to conquer some territory (Dalley 34).
The role of a woman is also represented vaguely. The attitudes towards women in the legend are very different. We can see that the positive and respective attitude is represented mostly towards goddesses. Ishtar is one of them, she was the goddess of richness, love and battle. Ishtar is represented in a great number of myths and legends and in every myth she has a different mission. Ishtar is usually portrayed as strong, egoistic and proud woman. In the Epic of Gilgamesh she represented as an enemy of the main hero. She is very ambitious in the Epic of Gilgamesh and it is not possible to define if she is positive or negative heroin. The readers can be shocked with her cruelness when she decides to kill Gilgamesh after he rejects her. The main goal of this woman is to satisfy her ambitions. This testifies that the people of that time saw women as strong, cruel and ambitions creatures (Dalley 56). They gave these features to a goddess and that means that in their opinion such characteristics should have belonged to an ideal women. Ishtar is also very sensual; she can’t and is not going to overcome her feeling to Gilgamesh, she demands an immediate satisfaction of her passion: “Come, Gilgamesh, be my lover! Give me the taste of your body. Would that you were my husband, and I were your wife! I'd order harnessed for you a chariot of lapis lazuli and gold, its wheels of gold and its horns of precious amber. You will drive storm demons--powerful mules! Enter our House, into the sweet scent of cedarwood” (Tablet 6, col. I).
Legends can tell us much about our history. The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the papers, which help us trace and analyze the attempts of people to explain the world around and its phenomena. These attempts are still unsuccessful as people of that time did not have enough knowledge to find right explanations. That is why they had to think out different gods and give them different roles and missions.
Works Cited
Dalley, Stephanie, ed. and trans. Myths from Mesopotamia. New York: Oxford UP, 1991.
The Epic of Gilgamesh : An English Verison with an Introduction, transl. by N. K. Sandars. Penguin Classics; Rev Rep edition,1960. Read More
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