His journey concludes with his return to Uruk. Gilgamesh expresses his jealousy towards the gods and the immortality they enjoy. He and Enkidu learn firsthand that incurring the wrath of the gods can have disastrous consequences. Rather than wise, omniscient beings, the gods in Gilgamesh are vengeful and easily angered. Ishtar immediately turns to her father, Anu , to send the Bull of Heaven to punish Gilgamesh. Enkidu later dreams that the gods have decided that he must die for these transgressions.
After twelve days of suffering, he dies a painful death. Utnapishtim also tells Gilgamesh the story of a great flood exacted on the people of Shurrupak. Ea informs Utnapishtim of the coming flood and instructs him to build a great boat and to stock that boat with all the creatures of the land. It is important to note that when Utnapishtim asks Ea about why the flood is coming and about what he should tell the people of Shurrupak, Ea has no specific answer for him, stating only that Enlil is angry. This suggests that the wrath of the gods can also be incurred without any obvious insult or explanation.
Gateways and doors by their very nature symbolize separation, but also transition. Although a physical doorway is not present in the beginning, Enkidu must transition from the wilderness to civilization. In this sense, Shamhat herself represents a gateway. They cut down the tallest tree in the forest to make into a gate for Uruk. On his journey to find Utnapishtim, Gilgamesh must pass through the gate of Mashu, guarded by the Scorpion men. At each point when a gateway is encountered, a decision must be made by Gilgamesh or Enkidu as to whether they will continue or turn back.
Utilized in this manner, gateways also serve as an effective literary device to force characters to make decisions that affect the overall narrative. Water is continually used by characters in Gilgamesh at key points in the story to wash themselves but also marks an important point of transition. In this way, water is used in a baptismal manner.
Enkidu washes himself after meeting Shamhat, marking his transition from the wilderness to civilization. Gilgamesh and Enkidu wash themselves after slaying the Bull of Heaven. Gilgamesh bathes himself after acquiring the magic plant to achieve immortality.
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In each case, a ritual cleansing marks an important moment in the story. Enkidu is transformed, leaving behind the world of animals and nature and entering the world of humans. Gilgamesh loses the magic plant but transitions to accepting his mortality. Gilgamesh is introduced to us as a tyrant king who does as he pleases and has little regard for his subjects.
His purpose in the story is to help Gilgamesh become the king he needs to be and to teach him about what is most valuable in life. Through this ordeal, Gilgamesh loses his best friend and must face reality. The recklessness with which he previously had lived his life is evidently unsustainable.
When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment. You might find yourself reading to get caught up in an exciting story, to learn about an interesting time or place, or just to pass time. There are as many different, valid ways of reading a book as there are books in the world. To analyze something means to break it down into smaller parts and then examine how those parts work, both individually and together.
Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about how the author uses those elements to create certain effects. But until then, here are seven basic steps to writing a well-constructed literary essay. Lucky you! Now all you have to do is choose one. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you. If you are asked to come up with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little panicked.
Maybe you have too many ideas—or none at all. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions:. Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long time? If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay. Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a sweater: if you pull on it, you can unravel the entire thing. Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole.
Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book?
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Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities. Maybe the main character acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his friends and associates. The best questions invite critical debates and discussions, not just a rehashing of the summary. Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length?
The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay Examples
Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic. These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments. For more on the parts of literary works, see the Glossary of Literary Terms at the end of this section. These are the hows —how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work.
- Comparison/Contrast Essay Outline A Contrast of X and Y I.;
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A thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by evidence and arguments. The thesis statement is the heart of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to prove this claim. A good thesis will be:. A really strong thesis will argue for a reading of the text that is not immediately apparent. How does the monster tell us so much about the human condition? Question: Would Piggy in The Lord of the Flies make a good island leader if he were given the chance?
Golding emphasizes this point by giving Piggy a foil in the charismatic Jack, whose magnetic personality allows him to capture and wield power effectively, if not always wisely. The reasons and examples that support your thesis will form the middle paragraphs of your essay. One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two characters, while another asks you to trace an image through a given work of literature.
These questions require different kinds of answers and therefore different kinds of arguments. You can either go subject by subject or point by point. This can be a highly effective strategy if you want to make a counterintuitive argument—that, despite seeming to be totally different, the two objects being compared are actually similar in a very important way or vice versa.
Remember that your essay should reveal something fresh or unexpected about the text, so think beyond the obvious parallels and differences. Choose an image—for example, birds, knives, or eyes—and trace that image throughout Macbeth. Sounds pretty easy, right? All you need to do is read the play, underline every appearance of a knife in Macbeth , and then list them in your essay in the order they appear, right?
Well, not exactly. In the Macbeth example above, think about the different contexts in which knives appear in the play and to what effect. In Macbeth , there are real knives and imagined knives; knives that kill and knives that simply threaten. Categorize and classify your examples to give them some order. Finally, always keep the overall effect in mind. Is the society depicted in good for its citizens? You might be asked to judge a character or group of characters Is Caesar responsible for his own demise? For this kind of essay, there are two important points to keep in mind.
Every literary essay expects you to read and analyze the work, so search for evidence in the text. What do characters in have to say about the government of Oceania?
What images does Orwell use that might give you a hint about his attitude toward the government? As in any debate, you also need to make sure that you define all the necessary terms before you begin to argue your case. You should define your terms right up front, in the first paragraph after your introduction. Second, remember that strong literary essays make contrary and surprising arguments. Try to think outside the box. But can you think of any arguments for the opposite side? Even if your final assertion is that the novel depicts a cruel, repressive, and therefore harmful society, acknowledging and responding to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case.
Your introduction sets up the entire essay.