The Bilgames and Gilgamesh tales reveal a few distinct insights about the human condition, and the insight gained from these tales remains prevalent today



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The Bilgames and Gilgamesh tales reveal a few distinct insights about the human condition, and the insight gained from these tales remains prevalent today. The first insight of the epic involves the necessity of friendship or love. Many epics center on the love between the hero and his wife; however, this epic has no female love interest. Instead the camaraderie in this tale develops through the growing relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh. The friendship starts after Enkidu comes to earth as Gilgamesh’s equal, and through a series of interpreted visions, Gilgamesh learns that he should befriend this strange warrior rather than attempt to destroy him. Throughout the epic the two are inseparable and Enkidu often volunteers for tasks that put his own life on the line, such as journeying to the Netherworld to retrieve Bilgames’ ball and mallet, in order to better his relationship with Gligamesh. After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh mourns for seven nights over the loss of his comrade and it is this loss that drives him to search for immortality. The second insight is that fear of death, Gilgamesh only dreams of immortality after seeing what has become of Enkidu, and this has frightened Gilgamesh to the point of seeking the unattainable. This message of fearing death remains present in our own society, as many of those in old age remain fearful of what will become of the them once they die. The Epic of Gilgamesh provides insight, which remains present in the modern human condition.


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