The Role Of Friendship And Gods In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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One of the first civilizations to exist. The people that developed the first ever written literary piece known to man, The Epic of Gilgamesh. They are the vastly mysterious and extraordinary culture of the Sumerians. Many wonder what kinds of qualities or beliefs this great society valued. The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem about king Gilgamesh, and his adventures with his friend Enkidu, gives the answer to this very thing. Through the intimate relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu, and the involvement of gods in mankind's lives, The Epic of Gilgamesh reveals the value and importance of friendship and gods in the Sumerian culture. Friendship is a very important and serious aspect of the culture of Sumer; the deep brotherly love between…show more content…
According to the epic, gods were highly involved in Sumerian people’s lives, in both mental and physical ways. The involvement, therefore, placed a deep value on gods. An example of the mental involvement of gods is portrayed in the scene when Gilgamesh first decides to go on a journey to find and slay Humbaba. Gilgamesh goes to his mother’s temple, who is a goddess, and prays to her, asking for “[her] blessing before [he] leaves,” and that he may “come back.../...victorious” (99). Here, it is shown that the the gods provided assurance and relief to men in their minds, because men believed gods heard their prayers, and were likely to answer them. The last detail which made the people of Sumer value gods, is the physical aspect of involvement or activity that the gods had in human lives. This physical involvement is seen right before the climax of the story, when Shamash, a god, tells the hesitating Gilgamesh through an audible voice to “attack Humbaba,” as he saw that the “time [was] right”(116). In this scene it is shown that a god intervenes and assures Gilgamesh that the time was right to attack the monster, allowing Gilgamesh to defeat him. Without the intervention, the monster would not have been conquered. This example shows that people placed an emphasis on gods because some things (in this case the slaughtering of Humbaba) could

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