A discussion on the means to obtaining immortality with reference to the novel “Gilgamesh”.
Immortality – (a) the quality or state of being immortal. (b) never ending existence. Although that is the Webster definition of immortality, what is never-ending existence? That question has a different answer for everyone. Some people believe that never-ending existence happens by never physically dying, and others believe that immortality can be obtained through your children. I personally feel that your children cannot give you immortality nowadays because of all the influences outside of the home. What I mean by this is that children are not striving to be “chips of the old blocks” anymore. They spend more time with their friends, or watching, TV, or listening to music, not following their parents around. To become immortal, you must either live forever, which is not very likely, or do something that is historically noteworthy like George Washington, or Abe Lincoln. Gilgamesh is an epic story about our hero Gilgamesh, and for a short time, his friend Enkidu. In the beginning Enkidu is one which animals; Later, however, he and Gilgamesh fight and become close friends. Together, they fought wars, and ruled the city. Eventually, the goddess of war asked Gilgamesh to marry her but he refused, making her very angry. She retaliates by sending the bull of heaven down to attack Gilgamesh and Enkidu. In the battle, they killed the bull, but Enkidu injured his hand; he eventually died from his wound. After Enkidu died, Gilgamesh went on a quest for immortality. Gilgamesh was trying to find immortality for both Enkidu and Himself. After gilgamesh got the “immortality” plant and scratched himself with it he was bathing and a snake ate the plant. As soon as that happened Gilgamesh started to cry. Since he had already used the plant on himself, it was evident that he still wanted the plant for Enkidu. Another example occurred during Gilgameshes conversation with the boatman. The boatman asked Gilgamesh to discuss his story about Enkidu. Gilgamesh said “Don’t ask me to retell my pain, I only want to bring him back to life.” Gilgamesh never received the immortality he was searching for, but he got immortality of a different kind. When he returned to his people he ruled differently, kindly. Because he changed his evil ways of ruling, he will be lived on through the fond memories his subjects will have of him.