The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered to be the earliest surviving piece of literature in the world. Even though it was composed thousands of years ago, it is still read and analyzed by millions of professionals and individuals all around the globe. This is probably due to the fact that this old poem does not only tell an interesting story but also deeply touches on such topics as love, loneliness, feelings, loss, revenge, human relationships, and the fear of death. What is more, all of these themes appear to be very much connected to each other and provide readers with various metaphors regarding human existence. Therefore, the following journal entry will consider some specific themes that occur within the Epic of Gilgamesh and discuss how they interconnect and apply to human lives.
After reading and analyzing the poem, it can be stated that the topics of love and friendship play a critical role in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Throughout the poem, it is easy to notice the development of different relationships, their strengths and weaknesses, and overall their nature. The most important friendship in this piece of literature is the one between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Through this relationship, they both receive a chance to grow personally, and Gilgamesh first learns about his morality with the help of Enkidu (George, 1999). Talking about the theme of the wrath of gods that is also largely present in the poem, the author shows what the gods are capable of when humans do not respect the rules and morals that are established by them. They tend to get angry and punish people for the wrong actions (George, 1999). For instance, Gilgamesh pays a high price for being motivated by pride – the death of his best friend Enkidu. Thus, this is where the topic of death can be seen.
From the description of the themes, it is easily seen that the themes of friendship, love and the wrath of gods are all interconnected. Each of them is related to the relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh and can be used to understand the story of their relationship and strong connection. As mentioned earlier, the friendship that the characters develop has a huge influence on their personalities, especially the one of Gilgamesh. Before he meets Enkidu, Gilgamesh is arrogant, limited, and hated by other people. With the help of Enkidu, he starts another path and understands his morality; therefore, his life becomes better and the connection stronger. However, when Gilgamesh shows that he is too proud to follow the will of the gods, they decide to punish him. While understanding that Enkidu is the most important and close person to Gilgamesh, they choose to kill Enkidu which extremely upsets the main character.
It can be stated that the described events are a great metaphor for human existence. First of all, the story represents that relationships are the most transformational thing in the life of every individual. Only with their help, we are able to change our perceptions, personalities, and stereotypes. Consequently, friendship and love are the most significant things for people, and the worst punishment is when these things are taken away from them by death, conflicts, and difficult circumstances. However, when something like this happens, it is usually an indication that something has to be changed in life, for instance, perceptions or actions.
It is clear that the poem teaches its readers various truths about human life. It was already discussed that attentive readers have a chance to realize how important the relationships between individuals are and what transformational impact they have on their life. In addition, it becomes clear what might be the ideal purpose of human life. It is definitely not pride, success, recognition, or money but the search for self and personal morality. This is because only in this case you will be respected by the surrounding world and become a wise human being. Hence, it can be concluded that the Epic of Gilgamesh is definitely a source of knowledge about human life and the truth of the world individuals live in. People who want to learn more about the different themes presented in this point should consider spending time reading and analyzing this literature piece.
Overall, the Epic of Gilgamesh is an interesting and very insightful poem that touches on such critical topics as human relationships, friendship, love, death, punishment, and morality. By reading this poem, the readers have a chance to follow the story of personal growth, the realization of important things in life, and the path towards morality and development. For this reason, the poem can be used to understand the metaphors about human existence and self-realization. In addition, the Epic of Gilgamesh is a great possibility to deepen the understanding of specific topics connected to relationships and morality. The presented journal entry discussed the topic of friendship, death, and the wrath of gods in more detail by applying them both to the poem and real life.
George, A. (1999). The epic of Gilgamesh. A new translation.