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Gilgamesh's True Identity

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Trevor Dixon Dixon 1 Mrs. Jessee English 10 1 September 2004 Gilgamesh's True Identity Gilgamesh, who was made perfect physically, with all of the wisdom and secrets of the gods, shows he is not perfectly made on the inside as he struggles to find his true purpose and identity in the Epic of Gilgamesh. He, who proves good at heart in the conclusion of the epic, does not know why he was created and is frustrated at his mortal third in his early life. Made to bring strength and prosperity to the mortals of Uruk as an honorable king, Gilgamesh must first go on a journey to find out his true identity and mature along the way. Whether it is for everlasting life, fame, or his desire to be king- Gilgamesh searches for his true identity and purpose throughout the epic, only to find it when he forgets his potential for greatness and gives up the search for fame. Gilgamesh feels trapped on the Earth, being one-third man and two-thirds god, and searches for immortality through the course of his quest to discover that it is not his destiny to live forever. ...read more.


One third of the whole 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.' This too was the work of Gilgamesh, the king, who knew the countries of the world." (117 Epic of Gilgamesh) In the end, Gilgamesh accepts his destiny and embraces his life as two-thirds god, one-third man. Gilgamesh believes that if he creates a name for himself and finds fame, then he will be greater than mortals can ever be and will be closer to being a god and fulfilling his purpose. "I will set up my name in the place where the names of famous men are written, and where no man's name is written yet I will raise a monument to the gods." (70 Epic of Gilgamesh) When Gilgamesh is told his fate is to never be immortal in the beginning of the epic, he begins his search for fame- being the next best journey to becoming a god. The god's prophecies make Gilgamesh quick to become famous and fulfill his destiny. Pride overtakes Gilgamesh at times as he sees his potential for greatness. ...read more.


Before the coming of Enkidu, Gilgamesh proved unworthy to be king. After his arrival, Gilgamesh faces many obstacles on his path to kingship that prepare him to be a great king. Having lost his best friend and failing on his search for immortality, Gilgamesh leads more compassionately having gone through so much pain and anguish. It is only after Gilgamesh matures as a person, having given up the search for immortality and fame, and by having lost so much that he becomes the ruler he was meant to be. Before Gilgamesh was able to reach his full potential, he needed to complete a journey. Not a journey to conquer or defeat countless enemies, not a journey to find everlasting life, and not a journey to be a great king, but a journey within himself to find who he truly was meant to be. As shown in the conclusion of the epic, Gilgamesh will forever be known as the ruler of Uruk, compassionate and wise. His encounters with Humbaba, the Bull of Heaven, and his vast journey to the ends of the earth will fade away in time, leaving only the memory of his honorable rule lasting, surviving the test of time. ...read more.

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