The Hero Essay Research Paper The HeroThe

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The Hero Essay, Research Paper The Hero The Mesopotamian society is dead. It has long been buried in the mud of history. Its roots live on through societies that exist today. The ruler of Uruk, Gilgamesh, is also dead. The popular tale The Epic of Gilgamesh lives on as well, being passed from generation to generation. I believe the major theme of The Epic of Gilgamesh is the striving to live on forever. A society such as Mesopotamia would strive to live on and conquer. They would strive to be the most powerful society in the area. The tale of Gilgamesh is about the historic ruler of Uruk. The tale tells that he is two-thirds god and one-third mortal man. Gilgamesh feels the power of the gods, but still has to deal with the hardships of mortal man, like pain and death. He sets

out to find the plants of everlasting life. He thrives to stay alive forever. He does this with his loving friend Enkidu, until he is murdered on one of the episodes of his adventure. I believe Gilgamesh treasures his friendship the most. He has everything in life he needs; power strength, and woman. He lacks only one thing, friendship. His companion is brought to life by the other gods, and the love he feels for Enkidu is like nothing he as ever felt before. Gilgamesh comes from a society much like that of Mesopotamia. We can learn many things about the Mesopotamian society by reading The Epic of Gilgamesh. First we learn something of the people who lived in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the second and third millenniums BCE. Then we can further learn that

they celebrated a king named Gilgamesh; we know they believed in many gods; we know they were self-conscious of their own cultivation of the natural world; and we know they were literate. This story helps us view the gift of mortality and how it was percieved by this hero . I call mortality a gift because without death Gilgamesh s life would be meaningless, and the adventures that make up the epic would disappear. We are supposed to feel as though the epic is real, by referring to Gilgamesh\’s own act of writing, the unnamed narrator attempts to convince us that Gilgamesh was an actual king and that the story that follows is a true story. On the other hand, by calling our attention to the act of telling, the narrator reminds us that the truth of a story might lie in the very

fact of its being a story — the undeniable fact of its narration. By reading this tale, we can see that the Mesopotamian society valued things such as gods and literacy, but also entertainment. This tale was passed down from each generation, and now it is popular in our society after being discovered. We have to remember that this is a myth, and many of the myths that were formed in the Mesopotamian society deal with the adventure of finding the meaning of life and confronting the reality of death. Hammurabi s Code of Law is strict rules with severe punishments for their violation. In fact, these laws played a big role in organization of Mesopotamian society. We can associate these laws with Gilgamesh and we see how crimes were not taken lightly in the society. The Mesopotamian

people must have been a respectful honorable people based on the harshness of these laws. After reading these laws, the reader may learn about ideals the people of Mesopotamia had about crimes, their attitude to the lower and higher social classes, and legal rights between men and women. Reading the laws you may notice that many crimes were punished by the death penalty. Many laws state that the guilty person has to pay the same price for the physical harm one did to another person or one s relative (laws 196, 197, 229, 230). For instance: law 196 states: If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. In addition, at that time, people were sentenced to death for many crimes or wrong doings that almost never would be penalized with capital punishment at a