12 June 2014
Is Gilgamesh a Hero?
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the town of Uruk was overseen by the strongest of all men, Gilgamesh who was two-thirds god and one-third mortal. Gilgamesh was a daring warrior and was determined to be remembered forever. He surrounded the city of Uruk with beautiful walls and ziggurats. In contrast, the people of Uruk despised Gilgamesh despite his strength and power. He was a terrible leader and a bad role model for the children of Uruk. He would say and do whatever actions that he wanted to. For example, he would rape the women that he was attracted to no matter what the circumstances were. He was frowned upon by the population, but there was not a person that could or that would stand up to the great Gilgamesh. A hero is a person that protects their people by courageous acts and is idolized by the people that they protect; however, Gilgamesh despite his inhuman qualities is not a hero.
Gilgamesh was not a hero, but begins to become more and more of one throughout the epic. Once Enlil creates Enkidu, Gilgamesh starts to step toward being a better king for the people of Uruk. Enkidu starts out wanting to put an end to Gilgamesh's ridiculous actions on the people of Uruk, but especially the women. Enkidu and Gilgamesh fight and eventually Gilgamesh overtakes Enkidu, but then they become companions. This is important because Enkidu begins to show the people of Uruk that Gilgamesh is capable of being a hero. However, a hero fights battles that threaten the people that he protects, but Gilgamesh participates in unnecessary events just for his personal fame. For example, Gilgamesh persuaded Enkidu to help him slay Humbaba who...