Quote Explanation from “The Epic of Gilgamesh” Essay

This quote summarizes the primary claim of “The Forest Journey” section because it essentially explains and encapsulates Gilgamesh’s motivation at this stage of the epic. The moving force of the plot that leads to the conflict with Humbaba is Gilgamesh’s determination to earn fame and glory. At this point in the epic, he is not yet at odds with the idea of death itself and accepts his mortality but is already determined to live a noteworthy and heroic life whatever the cost. This is the message that he delivers to Enkidu to raise his friend’s spirit and invoke the same feeling of heroic derring-do within him. There is no use running from death because it comes for every living creature with only gods being exempt, but a heroic deed or an equally heroic death may ensure that one’s memory, if not body, lives on. Hence, this single sentence summarizes Gilgamesh’s motivation and perspective on life at this particular stage of the plot while relating to the larger theme of mortality that runs through the entire epic.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *