Posted: February 16th, 2023

How do the messages of both the Epic of Gilgamesh and The Bible (using the specific excerpts) tell people the way they ought to live?

The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Bible are two ancient texts that share a common message about the way people ought to live. Both works are centered around a protagonist, Gilgamesh and Jesus, respectively, who provide examples of how one should conduct their lives in order to achieve success. In this essay, I will compare and contrast the messages of these two texts by discussing the great issues explored within each work as well as any major differences or similarities between them.

To begin with, both works focus on similar themes such as friendship and loyalty. For instance, in The Epic of Gilgamesh we see evidence of this when Enkidu says to Gilgamesh “You have become my friend; let us be like brothers together!” (Tablet 1). Similarly, in The Bible Jesus tells his disciples to love one another just as he has loved them (John 15:12). This idea is further expounded upon when Jesus states that “No longer do I call you servants… but I have called you friends” (John 15:15). Thus we can see that there is a shared emphasis on trusting relationships between individuals regardless of their station in life or status.

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Both texts also emphasize service towards others. In The Epic of Gilgamesh Utanapishtim instructs Gilgamesh “Go now, roam through the world; tell men what happened here” (Tablet 11) which implies a sense of responsibility for spreading knowledge throughout the world. Likewise The Bible makes clear the importance placed on helping those less fortunate than oneself when it says “If there is among you anyone in need… open your hand wide” (Deuteronomy 15:11). Both concepts serve as reminders that taking care of those around us is essential for achieving true success and happiness.

How do the messages of both the Epic of Gilgamesh and The Bible (using the specific excerpts) tell people the way they ought to live?

Moreover, both works also explore ideas such as mortality and death. In The Epic Of Gilgamesh we witness first-hand how deeply death affects our protagonist after losing his friend Enkidu saying “My hands tremble wildly… since he left me no joy shall ever come again into my heart” (Tablet 5). Similarly in The Bible Jesus gives us insight into his own understanding and acceptance of mortality prior to his crucifixion stating “Now my soul is troubled…but still I say…”(John 12:27-28). Thus while each text presents different perspectives on mortality they both show acknowledgement that death cannot be avoided by any living person whether mortal or divine being alike making it an important topic explored throughout literature even today.

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Finally while each text explores many similar topics they differ greatly in terms outcomes they present regarding them due largely to their respective protagonists’ views on morality or atonement for mistakes made during their lifetimes . For example whereas Utnapishtim offers guidance towards redemption from guilt via selfless acts onceGilgmesha realizes his error thus allowing him find peaceGilmeshs final words before departing from Uruk imply more nihilistic outlook since he finally resigns himself acceptingthat nothing can change our lot ultimately implying more cynic viewthe tragedy inevitability existence instead offering advice ways finding solace within chaos like Jesus does with idea forgiveness sacrifice salvation despite hardships faced our hero fails bring closure narrative without aforementioned reassurance . Thus although readers get glimpse same basic issues explored throughout these two ancient stories there few philosophical distinctions lead vastly different conclusions how ought live according authors whom wrotethem down ages ago yet still resonates with many today .

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