DQ1: The Mesopotamians had a generally pessimistic view of life. How do the arts of their civilization reveal this? Use at least one example to illustrate your points. What other features of this culture does the art reveal?
Following their religious beliefs, the Mesopotamians continuously put themselves in front of fear of death and inevitable transition to Ereshkigal abode. The Mesopotamians believed that eternal life was the destiny prepared for gods only, being inaccessible to ordinary mortals, which becomes the basis for the majority of their literature plots. One of the best illustrations for this is the famous “Epic of Gilgamesh”ť, expressing with great artistic power the idea of death’s inevitability all the people are subject to, even the celebrated hero, who is ready for any deeds to overcome his inevitable death. Strong and wise Gilgamesh is presented to a reader as a deity by only two-thirds, who, in spite of his divine origin, still cannot achieve immortality. On a whole, being deeply pessimistic, this and many other Mesopotamian literary works depict the future life as the abode of suffering and sorrow. Moreover, poems of the Mesopotamians reveal the belief that the afterlife bliss is given only to people who strictly follow the laws of the religion, the requirements of priests, and religious customs.