Comparing Gilgamesh And The Book Of Exodus

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Two significant works, both written in the Middle East, are The Epic of Gilgamesh, 2700 B.C., written in cuneiform on clay tablets and The Book of Exodus, 1400 B.C., written by Moses. Gilgamesh, the main character, the king, and 2/3 god and 1/3 human was physically strong and very wise, but also very conceited. His city-state of Uruk loathed his arrogance and his self interest. Moses on the other hand was very shy and insecure, but well liked by his Hebrew followers because he cared about them. Unlike Gilgamesh, Moses was a regular man chosen by God to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt to the promise land in Canaan. Both works are similar since there is a hero in each story that talks to his god(s) and each hero is compelled to follow the instructions of his god(s). Gilgamesh received these instructions through dreams from the gods whereas Moses physically saw an object through which God spoke to him. The heros though alike in some ways, are also different. In particular, they are similar in that both embody their culture, and both set out on a quest, while they are different in their heroic personalities. Both works…show more content…
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh travels with Enkidu, his devoted friend, to the Cedar Forest. In the forest the two encounter “Humbaba the terrible, the great demon” (Tablet ). Humbaba is weak because “Humbaba is not wearing all his armor [...] The demon wears seven coats of armor, but now he is only wearing one so he is particularly vulnerable” (Tablet 4) This allows Gilgamesh and Enkidu to defeat Humbaba, which in turn, makes Humbaba plead for his life. Enkidu then tells Gilgamesh “kill Humbaba before any gods arrive and stop him from doing so” (Tablet 5). Gilgamesh contemplates Enkidu’s advice showing that Gilgamesh has some compassion for Humbaba, but gives in to Enkidu and takes Humbaba’s life. When Gilgamesh makes the decision to kill Humbaba, Enkidu must die which leads Gilgamesh on another

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