Archetypes In Gilgamesh

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All quest stories follow the same pattern and have the same archetypes. There is the call to adventure or separation, threshold, initiation or loss, ultimate boon and return. There is also some lesson to be learned by the protagonist. The Epic of Gilgamesh, a story written thousands of years ago by the ancient Sumerians, follows the same archetypes as any modern day quest story. Gilgamesh is separated from his normal life when he meets Enkidu, he then loses Enkidu and leaves on another journey in search of immortality. He succeeds in finding immortality, loses it a short amount of time later, and returns to Uruk. This story and the archetypes present in The Epic of Gilgamesh, show what Sumerian culture was like when this was written and what…show more content…
He is created as gilgamesh’s equal and his purpose is to save the people of Uruk from Gilgamesh. “Let him be a match for the storm of his heart, let them vie with each other, so Uruk may be rested!” (The Epic of Gilgamesh, I 97-98). “In the wild she created Enkidu, the hero, offspring of silence, knit strong by Ninurta,” (The Epic of Gilgamesh, I 103-104). Gilgamesh and Enkidu become friends. Soon after meeting, Gilgamesh wants to go on a mission and defeat the demon Humbaba. “...... ferocious Humbaba, … [let us] slay him, [so his power] is no more! ‘In the Forest of Cedar, [where Humbaba] dwells, let us frighten him in his lair!” (The Epic of Gilgamesh, Y97-101). Meeting Enkidu is Gilgamesh’s call to adventure and his separation from his normal life. His life has already been permanently changed after meeting Enkidu. This part of the story shows all lot about ancient Sumerian culture. Their creator god is a female which shows that females were respected enough to hold a position of power and this was mostly because they can create life. It also shows that people believed that the Gods could change their society, but hey didn’t control…show more content…
“‘I shall die, and shall I not be as Enkidu? Sorrow has entered my heart! I am afraid of death, so I wander the wild, to find Uta-napishti, son of Ubar-Tutu,’” (The Epic of Gilgamesh, XI 3-6). On his journey he discovers a plant at the bottom of a sea that will make him immortal. “‘Its name shall be “Old Man Grown Young”, I will eat it myself, and be again as I was in my youth!’” (The Epic of Gilgamesh, XI 299-300). Soon after, while Gilgamesh is bathing, a snake comes and eats the plant. At first Gilgamesh is very upset, but when he reaches Uruk he says, “O Ur-shanabi, climb Uruk’s wall and walk back and forth! Survey its foundations, examine the brickwork! Were its bricks not fired in an oven? Did the Seven Sages not lay its foundations? A square mile is city, a square mile date-grove, a square mile is clay-pit, half a square mile the temple of Ishtar: three square miles and a half is Uruk’s expanse,” (The Epic of Gilgamesh, XI 323-329). Enkidu’s death gave Gilgamesh a personal reason to go on his own journey in search of immortality. The ultimate boon in this story is when Gilgamesh finally succeeded and competes his goal.Gilgamesh finally succeeds on his journey and finds the plant that will give him immortality. He finally succeeded and completed his goal. Upon returning to Uruk, Gilgamesh realizes that it doesn’t matter if he dies because he will always be

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