Common Literary Themes in Gilgamesh, Job, and Hamlet
Gilgamesh comes to a mountain where he first encounters Shamash who tells him that he will never find the immortality that he is looking for. This upsets Gilgamesh but instead he keeps trying. He continues to search for Utanpishtim, the only person to receive immortality by the gods. "There is no permanence. In spite of the words of the king Gilgamesh is determined to find what he is looking for. He pleads for a chance to receive the gift of eternal life. Utnapishtim offers Gilgamesh a chance at immortality. If Gilgamesh can stay awake for six days and seven nights, he, too, will become immortal. Gilgamesh acc
The Epic of Gilgamesh Themes | GradeSaver
Gilgamesh's motives are mixed: besides stirring his friend out of the doldrums, killing Humbaba would drive evil out of the land. But his more immediate interest — prompted by Enkidu's fear of death — gradually centers on another goal. "Who, my friend, can ascend to the heavens? Only the gods dwell forever in the sunlight with Shamash. As for humans, their days are numbered, their achievements are but a puff of wind." Even though threatening mortal danger, Humbaba is nevertheless an agent of Enlil, by whose word (or "through the opening of his mouth") the heavens are entered. Toward the Land of the Living Gilgamesh therefore set his mind, determined to raise a name for himself. Heroic exploits, he believes, will be remembered and confer a kind of immortality. "Let me start work and chop down the cedar! A name that is eternal I will establish forever!"
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