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Storytelling, the Meaning of life and The Epic of Gilgamesh - Research Paper Example

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Brown is not only an essay focusing on the ancient story of Gilgamesh and art of living. It has more to say about the impact of story telling or the age-old folklores and their influence on the life…
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Storytelling, the Meaning of life and The Epic of Gilgamesh
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Story Telling, the Meaning of Life, and the Epic of Gilgamesh ‘Story Telling, the Meaning of Life, and the Epic of Gilgamesh’ by Arthur A. Brown is not only an essay focusing on the ancient story of Gilgamesh and art of living. It has more to say about the impact of story telling or the age-old folklores and their influence on the life of the common mass.
Here, Arthur A. Brown launches his readers into a world between the life and death. His essay ends with the following lines: “And finally, with the death of Gilgamesh -- the end of the story and the end of the telling of it -- the text returns us to our mortal lives.” (Brown, A. A., “Story Telling, the Meaning of Life, and the Epic of Gilgamesh”).
The close inspection of these lines will lead the readers of Arthur. A. Brown to the life that is between realms of mortality and immortality. The switching of codes between the imagination and pragmatism is what we call life. This is the underlying vision of the author and so he focuses that any story can easily launch us to a world of imagination which can be termed as an escapade from the harsh realities of life but then it is always essential because it refreshes our mind, soul and body. According to the author here lies the greatness or importance of story telling and this code switching between the mortal and the immortal world is the true essence of life.
According to Arthur, stories are informative and they inform us about life and death and sometimes life after death and with a commendable rhetorical description of the story of Gilgamesh, he describes this in his essay. To the narrator, the story of Gilgamesh is not merely an ancient story telling about the life of a king and people living in the land between Tigris and Euphrates, also it is not a parable of their lifestyle, myth and beliefs but much more. It is a story about something beyond our comprehension which author describes in his essay as “things we cannot fix”. These are the things which are beyond the day – to – day life of the people living in the second and third millennium BCE and worshiping a king called Gilgamesh, but by delving deep into the epic. One can find out, according to Arthur, the reconciliation between human and mortality. One must try to understand things beyond his perceptions and our reflections regarding story telling. Relating life with a story is the greatest work and to successfully fit into the scheme of a character’s action is the utmost transcendental phenomena in life, views Arthur.
The title of the essay is aptly suitable for bearing the crown of being the title because like any other successful titles of the essay, it reflects the theme of the essay clearly. Story telling bears the meaning of life and very brilliantly Arthur Brown compares the ferryman of the epic, who brings back Gilgamesh to the mortal life as the listener as we pass on the story successfully even if we do it to ourselves. The epic of Gilgamesh is chosen by Arthur deliberately. Here, he does not want us to see the quality of the epic or the historical facets of it like scholars or pseudo scholars. Rather, he wants us to percolate the story into our lives and living and so he lays the true meaning of the title where the true synchronization of life, meaning of story telling and epic of Gilgamesh are brought to the same platform. Thus, the title for the essay is apt and entirely meaningful.
Reference
Brown, A. Arthur, “Story Telling, the Meaning of Life, and the Epic of Gilgamesh”. Essays on the Ancient Near East. 07 February 2010. University of Evansville. No Date. Read More
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