Mesopotamian Literature The Epic Of Gilgamesh English Literature Essay

September 27, 2017 English Literature

One of the ancient civilizations and their literature that our category discussed was the Mesopotamians. The earliest piece of literature that we know of is from this clip period, The Epic of Gilgamesh. From this work, we get an penetration into the features of this civilization.

One cultural trait that we see in the Epic of Gilgamesh is their spiritual beliefs. The Mesopotamians we polytheistic, they believed in many Gods. This is apparent in many occasions in the narrative. The chief character, Gilgamesh, is himself two tierces God. While depicting how he was made they tell us some of the different Gods they believed in. “ aˆ¦The Great Goddess Aruru designed him, planned his organic structure, prepared his signifier, a perfect organic structure the Gods for the creative activity of Gilgamesh, Shamash the Sun gave beauty, Adad the Storm gave courageaˆ¦ ” When the people of Uruk are enraged at the behaviour of Gilgamesh they turn to their Supreme beings to assist them, demoing us that the people of the Mesopotamian civilization besides turned to their Gods when they were in desperation. We besides see how the people viewed their Gods. In one portion of the narrative Gilgamesh is approached by the Goddess of Love and War, Inanna. She wants Gilgamesh to be her lover and he rejects her. While making so her names many of her past defect. “ But what advantage would it be to me to take you in matrimony? In the cold season you would certainly neglect me! You are but a back door which does non remain shut but flies open in the raging windaˆ¦What lover did you of all time love everlastingly? aˆ¦Come, I will state you the narratives of you lovers: For Tammuz, you immature husband for him we wail twelvemonth after twelvemonth! He who dies each fall and comes back each spring! The patched shepherd-bird you loved, that bird which axial rotations and tumbles in its flight, and you struck him, broke his wingaˆ¦Then you loved the king of beasts, perfect in its strength, but you dug him seven cavities and once more seven, they you loved the entire, great in conflict but you made for him the whip and lash and spuraˆ¦If you loved me you would handle me the same as them. ” This brush shows us how the Mesopotamians viewed their Supreme beings. They did non believe they were all-knowing and ne’er made errors. Most of their Gods were non perfect and had at least one bad defect but were highly bad in that defect. Gilgamesh himself is illustration. His haughtiness makes the people angry and they go against him. Once Gilgamesh culls Inanna she becomes really angry. She goes to her male parent An, the Sky God, desiring him to penalize Gilgamesh. She asks for the Bull of Heaven and she sends it to assail Gilgamesh and Enkidu. They kill the bull and the Gods acquire together in council to make up one’s mind what must be done to penalize the two. They decide to kill Enkidu as penalty, although they were supporting themselves from the bull the Inanna sent upon them. The people knew the Gods were non ever right and just but besides knew non to upset them because they were powerful and could train them merely as they did Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

Another facet of their civilization we are shown in The Epic of Gilgamesh is that of adult females. When Enkidu is still wild and populating with the animate beings a trapper tells his boy to “ inquire for a temple hierodule from the Temple of Love, such a kid of pleasance, convey her and allow her power of adult female subdue this wild adult male. When he goes to the Wellss, he will encompass the priestess and the wild animal will reject him ” . After Enkidu sees the priestess and has dealingss with her, he tries to travel back to the wild animals and they run from him. He returns to her and she holds his manus and leads him like a kid out of the wilderness. She besides instructs him on how to eat and imbibe the civilised people do. This shows that possibly at one point in their civilisation the adult females were dominant over the work forces, nevertheless this seems to alter. Once Enkidu go a “ adult male ” after eating staff of life and imbibing the strong drink he decides to travel to Uruk and face Gilgamesh. But alternatively of the adult female taking the adult male Enkidu is taking her, “ Enkidu set out for Uruk. Enkidu walked in forepart, the miss walked behind. ” Now it seems the civilization is dominated by the male which is besides how our society is today. We have a patriarchal society where the male is normally caput of the family. Once Enkidu has fallen ailment and is deceasing as penalty for killing the Bull of Heaven, he curses the priestess who tamed his wild ways. “ O you, priestess, I pronounce you fate- A destiny which shall be yours for all infinity! Hearken, for I curse you now with a great expletive and may my expletives attack you now on the blink of an eye: You shall non construct a house in which to offer your appeals. You shall ne’er come in the tap house where the immature misss are. Your lovely breastsaˆ¦May the rummy gorge you trysting topographic point with puke, May you be violated by all the troopsaˆ¦.The desert shall be you bed. The shadow of the wall is where you shall linger, your pess torn by irritants and bramblesaˆ¦Because you have..aˆ¦me and because you have brought decease upon me. ” Enkidu blames the adult female for his decease but as Shamash the Sun points out the adult female introduced him to good nutrient and drink, clothed him, and gave him such a good friend as Gilgamesh. It seems that adult females were sometimes objects for work forces to fault for their ruins. This belief is true is some faiths today where adult females are to fault for the first wickednesss. We besides see that the adult females were besides sometimes seen as wise figures. Gilgamesh ‘s female parent, Ninsun, is called the “ Custodian of Knowledge. ” When Gilgamesh would hold dreams he would turn to his female parent for reading and counsel.

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The Mesopotamians seem to hold to a great extent relied on word of oral cavity to maintain their narratives go throughing between coevalss in the ancient times. You see this throughout the Epic of Gilgamesh. A batch of the words and parts of the narrative seem to reiterate the same words and significances. “ Father, what a adult male! No other like him! He come from the hills, strongest alive! A star in heaven his strength, of the star kernel of An, the Sky Father, over the hills with the animals eating grass, ranges across all your land, goes to the Wellss. I fear him, stay far off. He fill in my cavities, tears up my game traps, helps the animal flight ; now all the fame slips away- through my fingers. ” The trapper tells this narrative to his male parent. He subsequently tells about the exact narrative to Gilgamesh, “ Like no other, wild, rolling the grazing lands, a star in heaven his strength of the star kernel of An, the Sky Father. I am afraid, remain far off ; he helps the animals escape, fills in my cavities, tears up my game traps. ” In these lines from the narrative, we see that that a batch of the same words are repeated. Alternatively of merely stating that the trapper told Gilgamesh about the adult male he saw he tells the narrative once more. This is an illustration of how the Mesopotamians would reiterate the same words and significances in a smooth, rhythmic manner to assist memorise the narratives.

From the work The Epic of Gilgamesh we see cultural traits of the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia. We observe some of their spiritual beliefs, the position of adult females in their society, and how they told narratives so that they were able to be remembered and shared with others.


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