Custom «Epic of Gilgamesh and Monkey» Essay Paper Sample
The Epic of Gilgamesh is described as a 'story of growing up' and I will agree to a certain degree with this assessment about this epic. The ideas and plot enacted in the epic lack the reality of being justified as true. The king himself is two thirds god and one third human. This story therefore is rightly referred to as the story of growing up because it can be told to young minds which are still growing up and see nothing with it. Young minds would not question anything and will take the story gullibly the way it is. The wild man Enkidu built by Anu, the chief god of the city looses his strength and wildness when he submits himself to the temple harlot, Shamhat. Although it would pass as a mystery, the way it is told makes any other person who is mature to have a lot of questions before the story even has an impact on him.
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The trapper is the one who gives his son advice to take the harlot to the wild Enkidu, how did the trapper know exactly what should be done if he is not god himself? It is an epic of growing up because a young child being told the story will not stop to analyze such oddities and will find the story very intriguing. We are told that Gilgamesh and Enkidu grew weary of living in the city and resolve to go for adventure in the great Cedar Forest. Now we expect that a king will have people serve him and so many things to do that he will not have time to think of adventure out of his kingdom. He goes with Enkedu to the forest, whom does he live to govern his people while he is away. Why will the king seek to fight the demon of the cedar forest when we expect him to have an army of soldiers to be serving under him?
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Enkindu is a stranger who was living wildly in the forest but the king comes to believe so much in him to an extent that Enkidu is the one giving the interpretation of the dreams. The attachment that Gilgamesh has towards Enkidu is too strong to be believed. This is a person who just appeared from no where but the king grows very fond of him. When Enkidu dies the King is absolutely torn apart. He does not bathe; he does not shave and completely neglects himself. There should have been other people in Gilgamesh live who would have dragged him to this extend but not a complete stranger like Enkidu. It is not that Enkidu was the first one to die so that he made Gilgamesh realize he will die too.
Utnapishtim test for Gilgamesh to in order to given immortality secret is very unrealistic. He knows that Gilgamesh cannot stay awake for six days and nights. Here also shows it is a story for growing up because the young minds will not stop to contemplate this. It could be a story of growing up but the moral lessons that it carries will apply even to the adult. What we learn from the instruction given to Gilgamesh is that we should be keen to follow the orders given by people who understand something more than we do. When given the magic secret plant for immortality Gilgamesh hesitate on using it and instead opts to try it on someone else. I n the event it is stolen and eaten by the snake and hence the snake becomes immortal instead of Gilgamesh.
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The moral lesson carried in the stories can be applied to anybody across all the ages. In the 'monkey', Sun Wukong, the Monkey King is a monkey who is born from a stone and acquires supernatural characteristics. In the same breath as the epic of Gilgamesh we can hardly believe this in the adult mind but it is easy for a young mind to believe such a story. This are the story that one is told in the years he is growing up in his childhood as he steers toward teenage life. The strength exuded by Sun Wukong is just extra-ordinary. He is able to lift 8100kg and he travels 54000km just in one somersault. He is able to transform himself into a clone Monkey King himself, animals, or various weapons and objects. He knows many spells that he uses to perform many things.
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Eventually Sun Wukong becomes proud of his abilities and he is subsequently cast out of the temple by Bodhi and orders him not to promise not to tell anyone where he acquired his power. The Golden-banded staff Ruyi Jingu Bang that Sun Wukong has magical powers. To say the least this story are more appealing and equally credible to a young and growing mind and not to an adult but the moral lessons can apply across all ages. For instance we learn that we should not brag after any achievement; Sun Wukong is expelled from the temple when he starts boasting about his abilities. After causing immense confusion in the oceans, Sun Wukong still defied hell attempt to collect his soul.
Later on Buddha is called in after the Monkey King causes havoc in heaven after being placed in charge of horses. He is subsequently captured by Buddha and he is imprisoned for five centuries. On his release after he offers his service throughout the epic Journey to the west, The Monkey King goes on to render his services faithfully. Although it could be viewed as story of growing up the monkey tale has be used by the present day politicians to bring some meaning to their ideologies. Particularly the Epic of Gilgamesh and the monkey could be used to regale young minds as they go on to grasp the meaning on adulthood, they have enough moral lessons that can be used to give sound direction even to the adult.
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It can be seen that the Monkey King, Sun Wukong, eventually becomes useful and helps other animals after the imprisonment. From here we learn that even a bad person can turn away from his bad deeds and be useful to others as the Monkey King did. The story could be described as 'stories of growing up, because of the unrealistic things that happen in them but the moral lessons that they carry is very relevant even to the adults. Consequently many people still allude to them to drive a point home. It is apt to say therefore, although the plot of the two stories may be more appealing to young minds which are still growing, anybody can use the stories to suit his own context so long as there is a correlation with the prevailing situation and the content of the story.