FAQ: How Is Gilgamesh’s Story A Spiritual Journey?

Life as a Spiritual Quest

Life is a metaphorical journey that begins with birth and ends with death. There are many different types of journeys that one can tell stories about, from vision quests out into the wilderness to pilgrimages to far-off holy places. The Quest is a special kind of journey in search of something uniquely powerful and magical.
The word “quest” is derived from the Latin word for “to seek” or “to ask,” and it tells the story of a man’s quest for wisdom in the face of suffering, loss, and death. Sam Keen writes that “the Quest” is a metaphor for our willingness to live and wrestle with the perennial questions that religions offer. It would mean tempering all of our spiritual beliefs with a good deal of doubt and skepticism.

What is the purpose of Gilgamesh’s journey?

Gilgamesh’s personal journey begins after Enkidu’s death, when he seeks out Utnapishtim in order to learn the secret of immortality, and ends when he returns to Uruk. Gilgamesh’s journey is a direct reflection of his internal struggle and “journey” to become a better, selfless leader.

What was the lesson of Gilgamesh’s story?

The Epic of Gilgamesh’s main moral lesson is to be a kinder, better, and wiser king, rather than running off to fight monsters and seek immortality. The Epic is saying that the key to living the most meaningful life possible is to be the best you can be.

How does the knowledge that Gilgamesh acquired from his journey?

When Gilgamesh returns from his journey, he realizes that it is his destiny to rule wisely as a king, not to achieve immortality; in the end, Gilgamesh learns that death is the fate of all humans, that life is fleeting, and that what passes for immortality is what one leaves behind.

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How does Gilgamesh influence modern day?

The supremacy of Gilgamesh in the story reflects the society’s feelings toward leadership; the respect they had for an all-powerful monarch is difficult for us to comprehend today, as our society looks down on dictators and labels them tyrants and enemies.

Why does Gilgamesh want immortality?

Enkidu’s death plunges Gilgamesh into despair, but more importantly, it forces him to acknowledge his own mortality: if Enkidu, his equal, can die, so can he. Fear, not grief, is the reason why Gilgamesh seeks immortality.

Why did Gilgamesh reject the goddess Ishtar?

Gilgamesh rejects Ishtar’s advances in Tablet VI of the Epic of Gilgamesh after describing the harm she has caused to her previous lovers (for example, she turned a shepard into a wolf).

How did Gilgamesh change during the story?

Many events in the story cause Gilgamesh to change: he makes a friend, he makes a name for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries to become immortal as a result of Enkidu’s death. Through these main actions, Gilgamesh’s personality changes and he becomes a better person.

Why is Gilgamesh a hero?

When Gilgamesh defeated the monster Humbaba, who lived in the Cedar Forest and terrorized all who lived nearby by refusing to let anyone pass through, he demonstrated heroism because he wasn’t afraid to put his own life in danger for the sake of others.

Does Gilgamesh gain immortality in the end?

Gilgamesh, like other heroes of ancient mythology, falls into a deep depression after Enkidu’s death and begins to consider his own mortality; however, like other heroes of ancient mythology, Gilgamesh achieves immortality through legend and the written word.

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Why does Gilgamesh finally accept his fate?

Gilgamesh finally accepts his fate because despite all of his efforts, he has gained nothing and he doesn’t have a choice.

Why did utnapishtim tell his story to Gilgamesh?

Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh about the flood, how the gods met in council and decided to wipe out humanity, and how Ea, the god of wisdom, forewarned Utnapishtim about the gods’ plans and told him how to build a massive boat to save his family and the seed of all living creatures.

Who can Gilgamesh be compared to?

Many students compare and contrast Gilgamesh to Jesus, pointing out that both Gilgamesh and Jesus have human and divine characteristics, but Gilgamesh’s nature is divided; he is 2/3 god and 1/3 man.

Who is Gilgamesh similar to?

Gilgamesh and Hercules’ Twelve Labors are similar in terms of main characters and plot, but they differ in terms of theme. There are a few key similarities between Gilgamesh and Hercules that make the two characters seem very similar.

What stories are similar to Gilgamesh?

Beowulf, Enuma Elish, The Iliad and the Odyssey, and The Pyramid Texts are some of the books that are similar to the Epic of Gilgamesh.

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