A Gods Mentality
To possess beauty is a gift, to have strength takes hard work, to be brave takes courage, to be a leader takes loyalty. To be all this at once is a blessing, a blessing from the Gods above; that is what ever God or Gods you may believe in. The obstacles that Gilgamesh conquered seems nearly impossible for any man, but for a man who is 2/3 God anything can be done. This courages epic of Gilgamesh not only tells us but shows us that man can do many things that are out of reach even if that man is only 1/3 mortal. Gilgamesh had the mental focus; mental stability, that he was greater than any other human to ever set foot in his land. Anything he wanted he could have, his reign reached as far as his sight could see and so forth. Even when fear was placed into his heart, the scare of death pushed him to lengths that no man could ever conquer. N.K. Sandars wrote the Epic of Gilgamesh simply to put a hero on this earth who knew he was superior to all others. The great Enkidu, who was made to counter balance Gilgamesh, still could not overcome him in a sense of strength or bravery simply because Enkidu could not possess that focus to be better than the best. There is not another like you in the world. Ninsun, who is as strong as a wild ox in the byre, she was the mother who bore you, and now you are raised above all men and Enlil has given you the kingship, for your strength surpasses the strength of men. (Enkidu 69). Gilgamesh the great; a leader, a conqueror, a God, thus still a Man.
I personally love war movies and books. Im into reading and watching about Gods such as Hercules, Zeus, Aphrodite, and so on. After reading The Epic of Gilgamesh I related the book to this movie I recently watched called Clash of the Titans. The main character was raised by a mortal family since birth without knowing, all along, who his real parents were. As he becomes a man his mortal parents are killed by the God of Hell while out to sea. So he sets forth on a journey to avenge them. While on this journey he discovers that his blood father is a God, thus making him out to be a Semi-God, or half man half god. Although his journey isnt equivalent to Gilgameshs epic, the quality and characteristic traits in these characters are much similar. They both are subjected to being harmed and death; and although they both know this fact it doesnt stop them from continuing on, onto their journeys to get to where they are destined to be. As I picture both characters in my head I can see the courage and bravery in their eyes, defeating each demon that crosses their paths. It seems that Sandars presents to us that Gilgamesh obtained a sense of restlessness that was not portrayed in Perseus, the main character of the movie. A type of restlessness that even Gilgameshs mother, Ninsun, curses; for he does not know when he has gone too far or over his limits, but in the mind of a true hero theirs no
limits they cant overcome. O Shamash why did you give this restless heart to Gilgamesh, my son (Ninsun 74).
The author did portray Gilgameshs restlessness well above the others throughout the story. Sandars described the demons and how beastly they are and the tales of all men never returning showed me that this man has full faith in himself. It was also told how these demons put fear in all the other characters of the book including Enkidu, even though he was supposed to have the strength of the wild beasts and intelligence of a mentor. I found Enkidu as some what of the second strongest man throughout the story, so for him to fear another man or demon that must mean that something was wrong. You couldnt find that emotion of fear in Gilgamesh and when you did that emotion still forced him to continue his journey for his fear was a phobia of dying. The fear of death isnt anything new to our modern culture, so I feel we could all relate to that. Im sure at one point in everyones life they have thought about death and how it would affect the lives of family and friends, which is a devastating and a sad thought. The difference between society now and Gilgamesh is that as we grow older to mature and not only except life but live it to the fullest, we have obtained the opportunity to except death as well. We might not know when its coming or necessarily like it but we know for a fact that we will all perish one day and life will continue on without us. Gilgamesh couldnt except that he could not live forever and that he was 1/3 mortal which brought him the emotion of fear, but along with that emotion came dedication; dedication to do whatever he had to do so that he would possess immortality and become a true God.
Throughout my paper I have referred to Gilgamesh as a man and not a god for a reason. Although his last journey was to become a god he was, and would always be, a man. At the beginning of the book I saw Gilgamesh similar to a dictator. He seemed arrogant and gave himself the image that all he cared about was himself and his own name. We all know that isnt how a king needs to be, nor act. But as the story went on something in Gilgamesh shifted, something changed in this mans heart. I believe that change came from Enkidu. From the moment the story took place as them being best friends, Gilgamesh had someone else to care about than himself. Enkidu seemed to be the brains of him, while he possessed the brawns. It was emotional to read about a death that could make such a powerful being cry for nights upon nights. Of all the stories Ive heard or read about Gods I have never came across one that has cried for their fellow God. It takes a man to cry for a best friend, their fellow man. Gilgamesh was not a God no matter how much he wanted to be, he still had that small bit of man in his blood. If it only takes 1/3 of a man to cry for another man and to still encounter death then it seems to me that just being a third of man overpowers being 2/3 of a god. A mans mental focus to do something will always appear to be stronger than a Gods, for we work hard to overcome what we must do where as a God just does it without any effort or emotion because they have that power. Gilgamesh worked for what he wanted and believed that he would always come out on top of his journeys and battles. Blessed by the Gods above, Gilgamesh the great; a leader, a conqueror, a hero, thus still a Man.