The Epic of Gilgamesh Ancient Lite rature 12

The Epic of Gilgamesh Ancient Lite rature 12

The Epic of Gilgamesh Ancient Lite rature 12 CP Engli sh Hack The Literary Epic It is important to note that The Epic of Gilgamesh does not exactly fit into the traditional literary definition of the epic and the epic hero. 0 What is an epic poem? 0 a long, narrative poem detailing the adventure or journey of an epic hero. 0 Early epics are the result of oral tradition and have eventually been written

down after many years. 0 The author's of the first epics are unknown because of the oral tradition. 0 The general characteristics of the epic poem are that initially epics were intended to be sung or recited, much like music today. The poems are often generated by times of struggle and adventure. The Makeup of a Literary Epic 0 The epic poem has a clear set-up and design: 0 begins with an invocation - this invocation calls on a muse or god to inspire divine intervention while telling the tale. In the invocation, the subject and the epic question are introduced. 0 The epic's language is literary and elevated.

0 The language is used by all in the poem, from king to servant (even though epics rarely detail lives or actions of the servants). 0 "In media res" translates to "in the midst of action". 0 Essentially, the poem begins in the middle or during the action. The audience learns background information and details as the epic progresses. Epic Hero Characteristics 0 Common characteristics epic heroes possess: 1. Unusual circumstances of birth; 2. 3. 4.

5. sometimes in danger or born into royalty An event, sometimes traumatic, leads to adventure or quest Hero has supernatural help The Hero must prove himself many times while on adventure When the hero dies, he is rewarded spiritually Epic Hero vs. Tragic Hero 0The epic hero is not unlike the tragic hero in that he born into greatness or into leadership. However, the epic hero has some

characteristics that clearly distinguish him from the others. 0The epic hero is 0"often of divine descent who is endowed with great strength or ability". 0in a different class of men based on his "skill, strength, and courage" . 0main focus is dangerous activity, essentially a war or battle over an evil force. 0someone we want fighting on our side as he is cunning, resourceful, instinctive, and skilled. He works well under pressure; he is the leader those around him need. More on the Epic Hero. 0Again, like the tragic hero, our epic hero is not

without fault. 0Often the epic hero has excessive pride (or "hubris") and is not afraid to sing his own praises. 0Although respected, the hero is not always someone likeable. Journal: 0 Is it better to be a well-liked leader or a well- respected leader? Are both aspects possible? What makes a poem an epic?

The journey is the key element of the epic and the epic cycle. Epic Cycle: 1. The hero must possess supernatural abilities or powers. These can often be magnified qualities we all possess (for example, strength we all possess but the hero's is superhuman). 2. The hero is charged with a quest that will test his abilities. This will test his worthiness to be a leader. 3. Then is the presence of helpers and companions as well as mythical animals or creatures during his journey. 4. The travels of the hero will take him to a supernatural world that ordinary humans are barred. 5. The cycle reaches a low point when we think the hero has been defeated but in the end, the hero resurrects himself and regains his rightful place. The Journey:

The five elements are 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. the quester himself, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, challenges or trials en route during the journey, the real reason a quester goes on the journey Setting: Mesopotamia 0 Mesopotamia and Egypt are

believed to be the world's first civilizations. 0 Mesopotamia, "between rivers," is the territory located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in modern day Iraq. 0 A city-state had a ruler who not only governed the urban center but also the surrounding countryside. The king of the citystate was the intermediary between the gods and the people.

0 Sumerians were polytheistic, believing in many gods. The gods managed the environment. Summary 0 Supposedly the oldest story in the world 0 The first half of the story discusses Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods to stop him oppressing the people of Uruk. After an initial fight, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become close friends. Together, they journey to the Cedar Mountain and defeat Humbaba, its monstrous guardian.

Gilgamesh Review 12 CP Englis h Gilgamesh 0 An epic a narrative from Ancient Mesopotamian Times 0 Gilgamesh part god/part man 0 He is obsessed with mortality 0 But his best attribute is loyalty because 0 Enkidu is his bestie 0 Near equal : his counterpoint 0 Gilgameshs soul mate, brother, and equal, even his conscience 0 He begins his life as a wild man, raised by animals 0 Enkidu overcomes him with friendship rather than force and

transforms him into the perfect leader. 0 They embark on a journey to defeat Humbaba to prove they are more powerful that the demon Overview contd 0 The gods punish Gilgamesh and Enkidu for killing Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven by giving Enkidu a slow, painful, inglorious death 0 Gilgamesh is crushed with grief and mourns over Enkidus body for 7 nights before finally burying him 0 Here, Gilgamesh embarks on his 2nd journey his real journey the

dark Underwold to find Utnapishtim in order to live eternally 0 Here he is given a test to stay awake for 7 nights but he fails Utnapishtims wife convinces him to give G a magical plant that restores youth but a serpent takes it 0 He goes back to Uruk technically empty handed but he has reconciled with the face that he is still part human and he will die thus learning his ultimate lesson Gilgamesh Themes/Symbols 0 Major Themes: 0 Sex and Gender

0 Other worlds/underworlds 0 Responsibility 0 Heroes/Kings 0 Strangeness/Difference 0 Other important themes 0 Death is inevitable. 0 Love and friendship are great motivators. 0 Mortality can be achieved through memories or fame. 0 Symbols: 0 Bull is masculinity/power 0 Floods represent renewal/rebirth of nature/humanity 0 Serpent (that takes the plant of youth) is a biblical allusion Theme- Death is inevitable. 0 All humans die. We are not immortal and because death is

inevitable for all men, we shouldnt have fear (29). 0 This is Gilgameshs greatest lesson. Gilgamesh is bitter that only the gods can live forever. 0 Gilgamesh feared death after Enkidu died and he made it his life long quest to find eternal life (55). 0 Life is short and the only thing that lasts is fame. 0 Even though humans die, humanity continues to live. 0 The lesson that Gilgamesh brings back from his quest isnt ultimately about deathits about life.

Theme- Love (Sex/Romantic) is a great motivator. 0 Enkidus education as a man begins with his sexual initiation by the temple prostitute (18). 0 In order to be human, we must be sexual and sexuality is part of our human nature (21-22). 0 After his encounter with Shambat, the animals in the forest hail Enkidu as their new protector (like a king) (21). 0 They no longer saw Enkidu as pure or could connect to him (they were ashamed of him) but saw him as someone who could protect them from hunters

0 When Gilgamesh finally sees that his place is here on Earth and returns to Uruk to resume his kingship, Ishtar returns to her place of honor. Theme- Friendship is a great motivator. 0 Enkidu changes from a wild man into a noble one because of Gilgamesh, and their friendship changes Gilgamesh from a bully and a tyrant into an exemplary king and hero. 0 Because they are evenly matched, Enkidu puts a check on Gilgameshs restless, powerful energies, and Gilgamesh pulls Enkidu out of his self-centeredness. Gilgameshs connection to Enkidu makes it possible for Gilgamesh to identify with his

peoples interests. 0 After being exhausted, they stop, look at each other and see themselves in one another (24). 0 The love the friends have for each other makes Gilgamesh a better man in the first half of the epic, and when Enkidu dies, Gilgameshs grief and terror impel him onto a futile quest for immortality.

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