Imagine that you were immortal, but you were not born that way but you were granted the gift over time? Who has never wished to live forever at least once in their childhood? Most people are scared of dying as they see the pain that the people go through before their final demise. Many people love life and they love the world hence they would like to live forever in the world. Human beings, as well as the other animals, do not have power over death and that why people die daily. All the people in the world can agree that he or she has lost either one important or many important people because they died. The painful nature of death and the way it leaves the people sad makes human beings to contemplate the idea of immortality. The idea is also reflected in several movies and novels (Gadotti 748).
The idea of immortality dates as far back as 2400 B.C.E in the epic tale of Gilgamesh. The idea that the people have with regards to immortality is dependent on the on the era that the people are living in, the culture of the people in the particular society and the belief that they have about death. The one thing that does not change despite the culture and the belief of the people is the quest to find out if immortality is possible in the first place. It is possible to think about something that does not exist in the society and that is what the researchers have been avoiding there have been many studies that address the issue of immortality and the quest that many people have to live forever (Kovacs 230).
Most of the people refer to Gilgamesh an epic, others refer to him as a legend whereas a few references to the whole story as a myth. One thing that is clear is the fact that the story of Gilgamesh has become immortal and that is to mean that it is living forever. Ever since the tale was known in the 2400 B.C.E, it is still being talked about by several people in the society. Gilgamesh was a king of a place known as Urak and he is known as a bad person and a bad king. He has a divine parentage-a goddess mother and a human king father but he is still mortal, something that he finds so hard to accept and is determined so much to fight it in order to fulfill himself (Kovacs 235).
Gilgamesh yarns for immortality but he has a sense of entitlement where he feels that he should be mortal just because his mother is a goddess and is immortal. He does not realize the fact that he is supposed to be thankful because he has been given a beautiful kingdom. He is powerful in the kingdom in such a way that he gets what he wants at the exact time that he wants it and sometimes he gets the privileges at the expense of the other people’s lives and comfort. The story of Gilgamesh shows the insatiable nature of human beings. They will always look for more even when they have enough and they would desire what others have. The story also shows the way the way human beings like creating things out of fantasy and they want them to be part of the reality. Gilgamesh becomes very sad on learning that there is a day when he shall die and live the kingdom behind. He can imagine that he will leave the throne as he sees how the people that he leads have deified him. Gilgamesh fears death after learning that Enkidu died. He, therefore, sets on a journey to find immortality. He visits sage Utnapishtim, the survivor of the Great Flood hoping that he would help in finding immortality. He tries his level best but fails, then it dawns on him that immortality is beyond reach and there is no human being in the world that has the ability to live forever. He, therefore, goes back home to Uruk, a frustrated man because he had failed in his search for immortality (Gadotti 748).
The story of Gilgamesh is applicable to the world today. The scientists are always in the laboratory trying to find the solution to aging and aging. The story, therefore, shows that there is always a similarity among human beings despite the cultural or general gaps. Most people think alike because of the fact that that they are related mentally, physically and socially. No matter how the years move on and the generations come and go, people will always desire more power than what they already have and what they deserve. They will always look for more that does not have the ability to satisfy their insatiable appetites. The ultimate power that the people seem to desire is the ability to live forever and they are doing their best to ensure that get it. In my opinion, immortality not only means living forever in the physical form but it also means living forever through art. The Epic Tale of Gilgamesh is an example of a story that has been there for ages and does not seem to fade off even as time goes by. There are many people who dia ed a long time ago but they are perceived to be immortal since their actions are still in play even in the present age. They include the pop icon Michael Jackson and many other musicians. We could say that they live on through their music. It is, therefore, an arguable fact that people should focus on doing good in their lives so that when they die their actions and good deeds will still spell their presence in life. A number of people are remembered for the wrongs that they did and that as the teachers tell the students on the way they should not behave themselves as they live in the world (Kovacs 230).
Gilgamesh then meets his match of god in the name Enkidu also known as the wild man. Enkidu is half Man and half horse and he is sent down with the aim of stopping Gilgamesh. However, it does not work because the latter is stronger and more powerful compared to the former hence he failed the mission. Eventually, the two become great friends and they embark on a journey to destroy a demon adversary known as Humbaba. The application in real life is the fact that sometimes the worst enemies can come together and become great friends united by a common goal. There are cases where the greatest competitors come together to fight a common enemy. A good example is two companies that are fierce rivals come together with the aim of working together as a team in providing effective commodities to the clients. Two opposing groups become very strong meaning that there is a need to ensure that many adversaries come together with one common purpose for the benefit of society. It should be noted that unnecessary fights in society do not have any importance but rather they have a detrimental effect on the lives of the people in the society. There is a need to encourage people in society to find the projects and the issues that keep them together in a way that the peace is restored in the society. People have common values and ideas that bring them together hence they should be cultivated as a way of improving the lives of the people in the society (Cregan-Reid 50).
The fight between Gilgamesh and Humbaba scares Enid hence he warns him of the strength of the beast but Gilgamesh does not think that there is a person who is able to defeat him. This shows the case in the modern age community where some people think that they are powerful and that there is no one is able to defeat them. Some of them are genuine whereas the others are just thinking that they are powerful when the truth of the matter is that they are not. In the end, Gilgamesh is able to kill the giant and cuts off its head. The story shows that a person is able to achieve his or her objectives when his or she sets his or her mind to do (Gadotti 749). This paper alludes to the fact that success is possible so long as one sets his or her mind to it. The essence of success is to ensure that all the activities and goals that a person has set are achievable through dedication. I believe that the fight between Gilgamesh represents adversity that all the people face in life. They can choose to face is it, fight it and conquer it or they may choose to run away from it like cowards. It also so shows that not all situations that the people face in life are as hard as they seem but some of them are just a state of the mind that an individual has to work on as he or she needs to succeed in the quest to enjoy the good life. Gilgamesh would have listened to Enkidu that Humbaba was no match for him but he stayed to his feelings of being a god and having a part of him being mortal (Johns-Putra 219).
Towards the end of the story, Gilgamesh still wants to be immortal despite the massive power that has been granted to him as the king. The story also shows the factors that limit human beings despite how powerful they can be. People desire power that will enable them to fight the issues and problems that they face in their lives. Sometimes it is important to ignore the voices that discourage us and focus on the things that matter and the usable abilities in the society (Johns-Putra 220).
Gilgamesh has more power than his demons and god counterparts but still looks for more power. It, therefore, begs the question of whether immortality is stronger and desirable than having the power to achieve what one desires in life. In my opinion, power has all to do with one’s ability to overcome fear and focus on their purpose in life and achieving them accordingly to their benefit and to their own benefit. It means the ability to become the person that you create in your mind and that includes managing the goals and dreams that the people set in their life. In conclusion, it should be noted that immortality is every person’s desire but in one way or the other, it is impossible or hard to find. There is a need for people to focus on what they can achieve as opposed to what they know is not possible. There is a need to focus on the abilities and achieve what you set your minds to do. Immortality may be possible but difficult to find (Kovacs 230).
Cregan-Reid, Vybarr. “Discovering Gilgamesh.” Discovering Gilgamesh, 2015.
GADOTTI, A. “A. R. GEORGE: The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition, and Cuneiform Texts. 2 vols. xxxv, 741 pp., iii, 743–986 pp., 147 plates. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. £175.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol. 68, no. 01, 2005, doi:10.1017/s0041977x05260056.
Johns-Putra, A. “Gilgamesh among Us: Modern Encounters with the Ancient Epic.” English, vol. 62, no. 237, 2013, pp. 218-220.
Kovacs, Maureen Gallery. The epic of Gilgamesh. Stanford University Press, 1989.