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Code Cracking: The Epic of Gilgamesh

  1. Men think Gilgamesh, the destroyer of worlds, is a hero. [Source, Andrew George, page XII] “it tells of one man’s heroic struggle against death”
  2. It’s a tale about narcissism [Source, Andrew George, page XII] “the only immortality he may expect is the enduring name afforded by leaving behind some lasting achievement.”
  3. Somehow Gilgamesh is seen as a hero at the end of destroying sacred forests and forest guardians: “From all this Gilgamesh emerges as a kind of cultural hero.” [Source, Andrew George, page XIV]
  4. Gilgamesh is afflicted with delusions of grandeur. He must become immortal so that he can oppress the locals, to continue his tyranny. “the delusive promise of eternal life” [Andrew George], “The city is his possession, he struts through it, arrogant, his head raised high, trampling its citizens like a wild bull. He is king, he does whatever he wants, takes the son from his father and crushes him, takes the girl from her mother and uses her, the warrior’s daughter, the young man’s bride, he uses her, no one dares to oppose him.” [Source]
    Note: All stresses on words provided by me, this author!
  5. The sheer number of times the name Gilgamesh appears in this poem is astounding. Narcissist, she hisses.
  6. Gilgamesh is a murderous fiend. “The tavern-keeper Siduri… was gazing off into the distance, puzzling to herself, she said, wondering to herself: “That fellow is surely a murderer! Where is he heading?” [Maureen Gallery Kovacs, page 36] He pre-meditated murder while speaking to Ninsun, his mother, telling her he will go to the Cedar Forest and kill “Humbaba the Terrible” [forest guardian]. [Page 12 of same source.] In fact, the word KILL appears 27 times in this version, 31 times in George’s version, and 30 times in the prose composition third version I found that has no author to attribute. The word MURDER appears once in two versions but four times in another — of course this is just a translation preference.
  7. Money and refinery is listed throughout this tale so often I could vomit. Gilgamesh even seeks to immortalize his BFF in a jewel-encrusted golden statue once he dies. He cannot accept the man is gone and will do anything to keep from letting him go and allowing himself to grieve. This is also typical of narcissism. Anger is the gatekeeper of sadness. Denial comes before anger. First, one tries to feel nothing, but then we cannot function in a numbed state. That is normal of all beings. However, if you find for yourself that anger is a gatekeeper to sadness and simply embrace the sadness — for we all have something to grieve all the time — then one can take a shortcut to the end: PEACE AND EQUILIBRIUM. This entire epic poem is about Gilgamesh refusing to face his emotions. What are the chances it’s entirely metaphor? Furthermore, two out of three sources vilify the woman who tames Enkidu as a harlot and whore, which means the victor (GILGAMESH, HINT HINT, WHO WROTE THIS ATROCITY) had very strong angry feelings about a woman who no doubt spurned him and would not give her body to him. He raped her and her father had some things to say about that, which ended up with his BFF dying. Whoops. I guess there were some consequences after all, even for a tyrant king.
  8. The tablet attributes the entire city as Gilgamesh’s doing, but he conscripted lesser beings into labor. He may have begun as a servant-leader, or tried to, and perhaps that is why the first stanza speaks of him so adoringly, but it quickly falls into a more accurate portrayal of a monster, calling him a rapist and then a murderer. Yes, let’s call him a hero, shall we?

Now, I will do the world a service and write a new version of this epic tale from the three sources I have. Stay tuned… it might take me a few weeks because I despise Gilgamesh.

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