“The Epic of Gilgamesh”ť is one of the most significant literary works of the ancient world. The epic reveals the life and beliefs of ancient Mesopotamia. The epic is focused on Gilgamesh, the king, through which the attitude of people to their kings is revealed. The main character of the “Epic of Gilgamesh”ť, Gilgamesh, is two-thirds god one-third man. People admired and respected him. In this regard, it is possible to refer to the episode describing his death, in which the attitude of people to their king is revealed:
“hero ”¦”¦ has lain down and is never to rise again. ”¦”¦ has lain down and is never to rise again. He of well-proportioned limbs ”¦”¦ has lain down and is never to rise again. ”¦”¦ has lain down and is never to rise again. He who ”¦”¦ wickedness has lain down and is never to rise again. The young man ”¦”¦ has lain down and is never to rise again. He who was perfect in ”¦”¦ and feats of strength has lain down and is never to rise again. ”¦”¦ has lain down and is never to rise again.”ť (Epic of Gilgamesh, 8:1-6)
In fact, this passage conveys very important information on the main character. First of all, it is obvious that people viewed Gilgamesh as a hero, a brave man, who struggled against evil power and villains. The tone of the passage clearly indicates to the fact that people regret about the death of the main character and it is a real tragedy for people, who lost not only a king or a leader, but also a true hero.Â In this respect, Gilgamesh is depicted as a perfect human. Even in his death he has preserved his perfection: “He of well-proportioned-limbs”¦”ť or “He who was perfect in”¦”ť (Epic of Gilgamesh, 8:1-6)
In such a way, Gilgamesh is the king. Therefore, it is possible to presuppose that the main character reveals the general attitude of people at the epoch toward their kings. In actuality, the death of Gilgamesh is depicted as a tragedy that means that people were very concerned with the fate of their kings. Otherwise, they would not regret so much of the death of their ruler.
At the same time, the passage indicates to the fact that the death of Gilgamesh is unexpected since he dies young. In this respect, it is possible to speak about the grievance of people of their young king because they apparently supposed that their king would rule for a long time. On the other hand, the age of the main character and his death are quite symbolic in the context of his deeds, which allow people to call him a hero. This means that, in spite of a young age, Gilgamesh committed some heroic acts, great deeds which people remembered for years.
Hence, it is possible to speak about the image of an ideal king: a young, strong, powerful king that can be a true hero. This is why the death of the main character turns out to be a real tragedy for his people.
Thus, in conclusion, it should be said that the death of Gilgamesh reveals a very important theme – the theme of the attitude of people toward their king, which was viewed as a hero and a semi-god.