Flower of Immortality, oil painting, Nina Tokhtaman Valetova



2016-03-05 18:41:50

Desperate Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh

The search for immortality seems to be an obsession for many men and women all throughout history. In the Epic of Gilgamesh a man investigates the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend, his brother Enkidu. That man, Gilgamesh, feeling the fear of the possibility of his own mortality which was before unrealized before the death of Enkidu, searches for a way to preserve himself. Is it truly that Gilgamesh searches for a physical immortality or more of a spiritual immortality? Gilgamesh wishes to give the flower of immortality to the elders of the city to rejuvenate them and return the youth to the kingdom of Uruk Gilgamesh is told a secret by Utnapishtim the Faraway's wife that their is a place were the flower of Immortality is located and that it can restore his youth and the youth of others. Gilgamesh gets the flower and leaves for home with the boatman, but along the way a serpent in the pool steals the flower and it is lost. An interesting symbol of evil similar to the bible is the snake or the serpent. They return to Uruk and shortly after Gilgamesh dies, but his wife and son go on. The legacy continues and Gilgamesh truly attains immortality in the stories of ancient Mesopotamia. So it seems that there is a moral in this ancient tale that the ideals of Uruk at the time was not to worry about your afterlife, but to focus on the time with your family and friends. The focus is on the present and the road to immortality is in the memories of your friends and loved ones.

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