A legacy’s journey Gilgamesh was a very attractive masculine hero who was two thirds god and one third man. He was the powerful king of Uruk who went on a long, hard, and physical journey to achieve his number one goal, which was immortality. Through his journey Gilgamesh faced many obstacles and challenges that made it even more difficult in accomplishing his goal. There were many unimportant and important steps throughout his journey that showed the development of Gilgamesh’s true identity, and how he matured along the way.
In the beginning of the Gilgamesh epic, the first step is important because it shows how Gilgamesh’s personality and identity was when he was starting out his journey. Gilgamesh was the king of Uruk and he started out his quest being very selfish, cocky, and unfair to the people of his city. The goddess Aruru created Enkidu, a wild man who lived in the wilderness to compete with Gilgamesh. Enkidu and Gilgamesh fought each other and ended up being really good friends. They decided to start their quest by going to the cedar forest to kill the evil Humbaba.
Enkidu was fearful of the monster and Gilgamesh said, “Take your ax in your hand and attack. He who leaves the fight unfinished is not at peace. ” (Epic of Gilgamesh 17) This quote shows how Gilgamesh is brave and shows no mercy. The step where Enkidu dies was another important part in the creation of Gilgamesh’s identity because before he had never developed a strong friendship with anyone and when he found out that Enkidu was dead he was very sad and grieved over his death.
He knew what it was like to lose someone he cared about, and he didn’t want to know what death was like so that made him even more determined to find immortality. In Gilgamesh’s epic there are unimportant steps in the creation of Gilgamesh’s identity. The step where Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh about the flood story is unimportant because it doesn’t show the creation of Gilgamesh’s identity. Utnapishtim began to tell him how he used to be the king of the city Shurruppak, and how the god Ea told him to build a boat and put two of every species on the boat because he was going to flood the earth.
Utnapishtim was wondering what he should tell the people of his city. So Ea said, “tell them this: I have learnt that Enil is wrathful of me, I dare no longer walk in his land nor live in his city; I will go down to the gulf to dwell with Ea my lord. But on you he will rain an abundance, rare fish and shy wild fowl, a rich harvest tide. In the evening the rider of the storm will bring you wheat in torrents. ”(24 Epic of Gilgamesh) The boat was completed in seven days and after the flood Utnapishtim saw no sign of life.
Then Utnapishtim and his family were rewarded and received the gift of eternal life. Gilgamesh was interested in Utnapishtim’s story and asked him if there was anything that he could do to gain immortality. In the steps of trying to find immortality, Gilgamesh does succeed. Utnapishtim gives Gilgamesh a test to see if he can stay awake for a week and if he succeeds then he will be immortal. Gilgamesh falls asleep almost instantly and fails the test. He was really frustrated and mad at himself for failing, but in this next step, Utnapishtim tells him one last way on how he can gain immortality.
He tells him about a flower that grows at the bottom of the sea and if he eats it then he will become immortal. Gilgamesh finds the flower and as he heads back to his city he stops to drink some water and a snake steals the flower. Gilgamesh was extremely sad and disappointed that he had once again lost his chance of being immortal, but when he returns to his city he says, “Urshanabi, climb up on the wall of Uruk, inspect its foundation terrace, and examine well the brickworks; see if it is not of burnt bricks; and did not the seven wise men lay the foundations?
One third of the whole is city, one third is garden, and one third is field. With the precinct of the goddess Ishtar. These parts and the precinct are all Uruk. ”(28 epic of Gilgamesh) Gilgamesh was relieved to be back in his city and realized that everyone had to die at some point and he accepted the idea of death. He achieved immortality when he wrote down his journey because he will be admired forever.
In Gilgamesh’s journey the step where Gilgamesh and Enkidu become friends and kill the Humbaba is a very important step in the creation of Gilgamesh’s identity because it shows how his attitude and strength was when defeating the monster. The step where Enkidu dies was also an important part in the creation of Gilgamesh’s identity because in the beginning Gilgamesh was a very selfish person who would only think of himself and when Enkidu died it brought out Gilgamesh’s emotion and sadness which was a new side of him.
The flood story was an unimportant step in the creation of Gilgamesh’s identity because it was mainly about Utnapishtim surviving the flood and him becoming immortal. Gilgamesh was on a quest for one thing and one thing only which was to find immortality. Even though he fails every test Utnapishtim gives him, he still achieves his goal. When he gets back from his journey he accepts that he is going to die someday so he writes down his story and leaves behind his legacy.