Gilgamesh and the Hero�s Journey

Gilgamesh and the Hero�s Journey - I found that each...

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Gilgamesh and the Hero’s Journey While reading Gilgamesh I noticed that the tale is quite repetitive at times, and I found there were many references to bulls. At the beginning of the tale Gilgamesh is described as “a wild bull.” Later when Gilgamesh is on his journey to slay Humbaba he dreams that he is “grappling with a wild bull.” Another reference to a bull is found when Ishtar releases upon Gilgamesh a “Heavenly Bull” as revenge for him insulting her. He ends up slaying the Heavenly Bull. I found this very symbolic as he is described as a bull, and ends up being very concerned with his own mortality. There were many gaps in this tale, which makes me wonder what I’m missing out on. There may be lines in this story that are essential to the meaning that have been excluded.
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Unformatted text preview: I found that each part of the tale of Gilgamesh corresponded directly to the Hero’s Journey. Gilgamesh receives a call to slay Humbaba and cut down the cedars, and Enkidu acts as his supernatural aid. At first Gilgamesh is eager to go and Enkidu advises him against it. The tables are then turned as Gilgamesh becomes shy and needs encouragement to continue on, and encouragement to slay Humbaba. The “belly of the whale” is Enkidu’s death, it is at this point when he realizes his own mortality. Gilgamesh endures many tasks and tests on his journey to reach immortality, he fails several times (both because he has fallen asleep!) In the end the “ultimate boon” is finding the plant that causes old men to become young again, after his failure he returns to Uruk....
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course ENG 102 taught by Professor Creek during the Spring '07 term at De La Salle University.

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