Epic of Gilgamesh and Book Xi Essay
La Tisha Johnson October 10, 2010 Civilization 1 Why does the flood happen? Why is Utnapishtim singled out to be saved? Why does the flood happen? The flood happens because the counselor Enlil wanted to kill off all humans that lived in Shuruppak. He wanted to punish all of the humans for their sins and crimes they have committed. “It is right to punish the sinner for his sins, to punish the criminal for his crime”(pg 189-190 book xi. ) Five of the Gods in secret agreed to flood Shuruppak “ Five gods decided, and took an oath to keep the plan secret”(pg. 181 book xi. 19o)
Why is Utnapishtim singled out to be saved? Uthapishtim was singled out and saved because he keep the secret of the gods from the humans. He over heard the cleverest of gods Ea whisper the secret to the reed fence. “I heard him whisper the secret to the reed fence around my house”(pg. 181 book xi. ) Ea told Utnapishtim what he needed to do before the flood. Utnapishtim listened and did exactly as he was told. He was very loyal to his god Ea. Even though Ea agreed to the flood, he did not believe that ever human should be punish for the sins or crimes of another human. do not allow all men to die because of the sins of some”(pg 190 book xi. ) Because of Utnapishtim loyalty to the gods and is role in saving some mankind, Enlil decides to grant him everlasting life and to become a god. How is death regarded? Death is regarded in “Gilgamesh” as being ungodly, a mortal. The gods are the ones who decides if you live or die “ When the gods assemble, they decide your fate, they establish both life and death for you”. (pg 179 book x. ) Gilgamesh wants to be immortal become a god so he does not experience death as his friend/brother Enkidu.
When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh for the first time felt the pain of sorrow and realizes that once death overcomes you there is no coming back. He realize that no matter how strong, old, young or powerful you are all humans will die unless they are granted eternal life by the gods “I could find the one man whom the gods made immortal, I would ask him how to overcome death”(pg 47 introduction). Gilgamesh now fears death. Also death is regarded as a punishment for evil doings. When mankind sin or does not obey the gods, they send death upon them as Enlil did with the flood.