The Legend of Gilgamesh




The legend of Gilgamesh was written in by a scribe using cuneiform language (See Jesse’s project) onto a clay stone, which is what the picture that I have posted below is of. Also, before I begin, I need to state that almost all of this legend is a myth, it is not real. However, some sections are, but most of it is fake.


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This is the cuneiform stone that had the legend of Gilgamesh carved into it by a scribe.










The Beginning of Gilgamesh
The legend of Gilgamesh begins with Gilgamesh, the 1/3 human and 2/3 god king of Uruk. The sun god sent him to rule over the city. Gilgamesh was very powerful and wealthy, yet also bitterly cruel. He was mean and ignorant because he had no friends. Due to being incredibly loneliness, he took it out of his townspeople and was incredibly punishing. He one day felt the urge to show his people how strong and powerful he was to make sure that all of them remembered him forever. He ordered all the men in his town to leave their work and families to work on a great wall built around the entire perimeter of the whole city of Uruk. The women were forced to bring food; children were banned from the wall to prevent anybody stopping their work to play with them. At first the townspeople thought that he was doing this for a reason, every day the wall got higher, and every day the people got more and more restless. It seemed as though the wall would never stop growing and growing, that Gilgamesh would never listen to the people, no matter how many times they fainted due to scarce food sources, no matter how many cries of mercy he heard, it seemed that Gilgamesh would never stop building this great wall around Uruk.

Sooner or later, it all just became too much for the people, after all, nobody can stand working every ounce of strength they have out of them. They prayed and prayed and prayed to the Sun Gods until finally they heard they calls for help and mercy.
Preparing for the Fight
The Sun Gods ordered for a man as strong as Gilgamesh to be made from the clay of the earth. His name was Enkidu and he was sent to live with the animals of the forest since he had never seen a human, let alone seen human kindness. When Enkidu was in the forest, he saw a man hunting in the forest and immediately hated him for hurting the animals that had done nothing to him. He threw the man off the chariot and took back the injured animals to the forest. The hunter ran all the way back to the city of Uruk and warned Gilgamesh about the dangerous man in the forest and called him "the most dangerous man in the world. “Gilgamesh was shocked at this news and was sure that there was nobody in the entire world that was stronger than him. Gilgamesh wanted to see who this powerful man was, so the told the hunter to take the singer Shamhat into the woods to lure him to her with her charming singing. Shamhat was the most beautiful woman in the whole city of Uruk; everyone loved her and her voice. Before he left to go back to the city, the hunter dropped Shamhat off at the last place he had seen Enkidu, then fled. she sang and played her harp all night until Enkidu heard her and, so as not to scare her, approached her slowly and listened to the most beautiful thing he had ever heard.
This is an artist's enterpretation of what it might've looked like when Enkidu was spying on Shamhat while she was playing her harp and singing.
This is an artist's enterpretation of what it might've looked like when Enkidu was spying on Shamhat while she was playing her harp and singing.


The Fight
As Shamhat noticed Enkidu, she noticed that he looked more like an animal that the man the hunter had seen, all the same, he looked harmless. Shamhat stayed with each other for a few days as Shamhat taught him how to do everything that he would need to know when he would go back to Uruk with her. Shamhat and Enkidu eventually fell in love with each other and they promised to never leave each other's side. As Shamhat of course did not want Enkidu to go near Uruk where Gilgamesh was waiting to destroy him, but alas, Enkidu refused to listen and had to leave his animal friends to go fight Gilgamesh. Everyone knew that Gilgamesh would want to kill the wild man in front of the whole city of Uruk to prove that he was the most powerful man in the world. As Shamhat was worried, like most would be, she cut parts of her robe to cover Enkidu and shaved most of his hair off, he looked more like a man than that of a beast now. Gilgamesh had ordered all work on his wall to halt that day for the fight would be on the wall. All the people all over the city of Uruk watched in awe as Enkidu and Shamhat approached them. The fight seemed as if they were fighting for the most important thing in the world, maybe even the world it seemed, but they fought on for hours upon hours, smack upon smack. Until finally Gilgamesh lost his balance and fell to his loss over a loose brick. Seconds before impact, Enkidu snatched Gilgamesh's hand before he fell to his fate. He hauled him up to safety where Gilgamesh felt a feeling he never had never felt before in his life, he didn't feel lonely anymore, he felt like he had a friend who he could trust and be happy with. Gilgamesh had finally found what it was like to be human; they embraced each other, and from that moment on, knew they would be great friends forever.
This is a carving of what Enkidu and Shamhat were thought to look like.
This is a carving of what Enkidu and Shamhat were thought to look like.


The Aftermath
Shamhat had the largest parade in the history of Uruk prepared and there were celebrations that lasted for a great while, and Gilgamesh had all work on the wall stopped forever. Gilgamesh invited everyone to a large feast filled with all sorts of scrumptious delicacies. None were hungry that night, and none were not filled with joy, happiness, and relief. If happiness was a blanket, then the people of Uruk would now be sleeping under it, for Gilgamesh had changed, therefore the city was a far better place for everyone. Gilgamesh, Enkidu and Shamhat would sit in their boat and discuss how they could make their city a better place. Shamhat would play her harp and all the very grateful people of Uruk paused and listened to the beauty of their new happiness.*
Critical Thinking
In the time period of when Gilgamesh was king, he was king because the Sun Gods sent him down to the city of Uruk to rule as king. Nowadays, we have elections so that the public has a choice to who will be the leader. Since ruling over such important places is such a big job, and you are in charge of so much, all citizens should be happy with the leader. Although not all people are happy with leaders that have been elected, it is better that some prefer him than none. For example, in The Legend of Gilgamesh, all of the people of Uruk disliked Gilgamesh and how he treated them like slaves, not caring about their safety or health at all. (Until he and Enkidu became friends.)*There is more to this story, about Gilgamesh's quest for eternal immortality, but I did not include this information because I am only sticking to one topic, it would've been too long otherwise.

Humans were, I could say, much more productive before technology, in a way. They learned that they had to work on their own to find things, such as food, building their homes, or figuring things out for themselves. Nowadays, all we have to do is get in our gas-powered vehicle and press a button with our foot and be at a large industrial building that houses all of our needs. Then, we had to travel on foot to a forest where we have been trained to shoot our dinner or else we won’t have any. However, although I am arguing that we are not as productive, as we are; who makes our technology? We have technology that makes life vastly easier for everyone, somebody has to go through the grief to make and design and pay and mass-produce all those things to make life easier for us. Designing technology is harder than shooting a deer, I believe.

I think that this story probably showed dome of the first steps to, well, being friendly and helping others out. We were, as you can also see from the story, that most people were not very friendly before it, hence Gilgamesh before Enkidu. Also, still, lots of people did not benefit from this story, hence rude or mean people. However, lots of people did, some people do not care as much about winning as they do playing their sport, or leaving their mark in it. Some people help others when they are not doing well in the race, and purposely slow down, so they feel like they have done something good just for the sake of it, not for winning.

Bibliography: The only book that I used was called Gilgamesh the King by Ludmila Zeman. The first picture that I showed, of the cuneiform stone that had the Legend of Gilgamesh carved into it by a scribe, I got from
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=the+legend+of+gilgamesh+stone&hl=en&biw=1440&bih=703&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=3eIhftk5ImUGwM:&imgrefurl=http://cdub77.hubpages.com/hub/gilgameshgenesis&docid=SDb05FAXYbWMcM&imgurl=http://s2.hubimg.com/u/4143989_f260.jpg&w=260&h=273&ei=PsYVT4eAAubTiAKjqJXhAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=1185&vpy=166&dur=4968&hovh=218&hovw=208&tx=101&ty=162&sig=111990359122803898840&page=3&tbnh=142&tbnw=136&start=41&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:41. The second picture that I showed of what Enkidu and Shamhat were thought to look like while being in love, I got from
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=shamhat+and+enkidu&hl=en&gbv=2&biw=1440&bih=703&tbm=isch&tbnid=47BbVv9kq2Xt5M:&imgrefurl=http://www.bibleorigins.net/illustrationofgilgameshandenkidu.html&docid=dd2HEdQ3WEp_sM&imgurl=http://www.bibleorigins.net/MVC-188S.JPG&w=330&h=602&ei=LswVT_iLEOSciAKJrtTTAQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=265&sig=111990359122803898840&page=1&tbnh=160&tbnw=88&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0&tx=38&ty=71. the video about Gilgamesh's story and how he met Enkidu I got from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEeW1tx5QrQ, it was posted by a person with a username: Broatington, on YouTube. Lastly, I got my last picture, the one of Enkidu watching Shamhat as she played her harp from
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=enkidu+watching+shamhat&hl=en&gbv=2&biw=1440&bih=703&tbm=isch&tbnid=DHOd7zj5-zlTXM:&imgrefurl=http://www.learner.org/courses/worldlit/gilgamesh/read/&docid=_fZJFT846vNgKM&imgurl=http://www.learner.org/courses/worldlit/media/gilgamesh/read_text_image_02.jpg&w=512&h=311&ei=g80VT-efHMaYiAK47cSzDQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=266&sig=111990359122803898840&page=1&tbnh=119&tbnw=196&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0&tx=72&ty=81.