Events and Journeys in “The Epic of Gilgamesh”

Generally, the entire event in Gilgamesh starts with a journey and makes the journey more important. All journeys provided in Gilgamesh reflect his inner flight to become altruistic and loyal king. The hero is obliged to set off on a journey or mission with the aim of discovering himself. In the beginning, both Enkidu and Shamhat planned a journey to civilization from wilderness to meet Gilgamesh, and Gilgamesh starts his mission or journey with Enkidu by travelling to the forest of Cedar to overpower Humbaba.

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Gilgamesh begins his personal journey immediately after Enkidu died and tries to find Utnapishtim so that he can learn the secret concerning immortality. His journey or quest ends when he goes back to Uruk. In-this-case, the journey of Gilgamesh is an undeviating manifestation of the personal struggle and “journey” to grow to be a better, altruistic and noble leader.

All the events in the Gilgamesh start with different journeys. Some of these major journeys include: the trip by Enkidu to Gilgamish and Uruk made by Enkidu, the journey of Enkidu and Gilgamesh to the Cedar Forest, the journeys of Enkidu to the under-world. The journeys of Gilgamesh to the twin-peaked Mashu Mountain, he also travels to Urshanabi to look for Utnapishtim. Enkidu travelled also to the sea accompanied by Urshanabi and passing through the death sea, merely to revisit Uruk. Gilgamesh’s numerous journeys reflect his inner journey to grow to be a gallant, dutiful and devoted king and leader. These journeys teach the readers a lot concerning Gilgamesh’s interior journey to become a gallant leader.

The physical appearance of Gilgamesh’s city of Uruk

The city, Uruk contributed greatly in the historic urbanization of Sumer within 4th millennium BC and was the only famous and biggest city with the real king. Uruk is the only real city with the real king. The king of Uruk is Gilgamesh who is 1/3 human and 2/3 god. This human city is important to the people of Mesopotamian culture. The walls of the city and the Ishtar temple are very significant and also the orchards and the fields. The walls and temples are the home of the people of the Mesopotamia; they are also a testament to humanity. The city of Uruk was built by Gilgamesh.

The function and symbolic value of the city

Apart from the participation in early urbanization, its wall symbolized immense success where mortals are proficient and considered a biblical Erech. According to Gilgamesh, they represented the immortality he accomplished through his deeds. The city was a tribute to the humanity as mortal beings. The city had a relationship with the gods; the gods are seen to be dangerous to mortals because they live by their own rules and laws. The city is depicted in negative terms; it is an immoral city and it faces dire consequences due to Gilgamesh disobedience: the great flood was unleashed in Gilgamesh; this was a punishment from the gods.

Enkidu’s sex with the temple prostitute Shamhat as a ‘rite of passage’

Enkidu lost his normal traits and values after the prostitute seduced him, but achieved his humankind and self-awareness. In the Mesopotamian world-view, sex contributed greatly to various events and importance. The idea of sublimation was completely strange to the ancient Mesopotamians since they considered that there was just one universe and sex mystically and physically linked individuals to the deity, the life power.

Gilgamesh’s first dream

The mountain fell on him and Enkidu and was construed that the falling of the mountain represents the falling of Humbaba in the first dream. When he is walking around amongst his people, proud of his own influence and supremacy, a star falls from the sky onto his back, which is seen as a very heavy load. That is the instant when his distinctive fate befalls him, factually falls on his back.

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Why Enkidu fights Gilgamesh at the bridal chamber threshold

Enkidu did not want treatment of Gilgamesh of new brides and travelled to Uruk to solve the issue. Gilgamesh declared the right to have intimate relations with all new brides during the special day of the wedding and made Enkidu very angry, that is why they fought at the bridal chamber threshold.

Why Gilgamesh wants to go to the Cedar Forest

Gilgamesh planned to visit the Cedar forest to kill Humbaba, the giant that provides security to the forest, and they went there to cut down all the cedar trees. Enkidu did not want to die, but the final advice from the elders was for Enkidu to lead. He had the intention to apply the cedar trees to produce an admirable cedar gate for the Uruk city.

Gilgamesh’s dreams told to Enkidu on their journey to the Cedar Forest

Dreams are recurring in Gilgamesh and are very important. The three dreams represent a channel of communication between gods and mortals, which foresee incidences symbolically and exactly.

Why Gilgamesh rejects Ishtar’s sexual advances

Gilgamesh rejected Ishtar’s sexual advances because he knew all the mortal lovers she had and the calamitous and awful fates they endured at her hands. Ishtar felt really bad and deeply insulted, so she took a decision to return to the heaven and ask her father to provide her the Bull of Heaven to destroy retribution on Uruk city and Gilgamesh.

The killing of the Bull of Heaven and Huwawa

The killing of Bull of Heaven and that of Humbaba is similar. They are both killed by Enkidu and Gilgamesh. However, the existence of Humbaba did not pose as a threat to the Uruk city unlike the Bull of Heaven. Using the Bull of Heaven, Ishtar intended to harm Gilgamesh and the entire city of Uruk.

Why Enkidu rages against Ishtar

When Enkidu and Gilgamesh killed the Bull of Heaven, Ishtar became furious and enraged that is why Enkidu raged against her. His action of throwing at her the haunch of the Bull of Heaven is justified because Ishtar intended to use the Bull of Heaven to destroy Gilgamesh and the entire city of Uruk.

Why Gilgamesh covers Enkidu’s face with a veil like a bride’s veil

Gilgamesh covered Enkidu’s face with mask like a bride’s veil because he touched his heart and it did not beat, Enkidu was dead. Even when Enkidu died, Gilgamesh remained an affable character. His love for Enkidu remained. Amusingly, when Gilgamesh covered Enkidu with the veil, it is portrayed like a bride’s veil. This description compares the death of Enkidu to a wedding day.

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The significance of the worm falling out of E’s nose

This signified the love Gilgamesh had for Enkidu; he stayed with him until his body began decaying. He wept for him for seven days and nights.

The significance of serpent stealing the magic plant

This signified the loss of immortality to a serpent; this is a mythical theme that recurred in Eden.

The Mesopotamian underworld

According to the description in the story, the underworld is a perpetually murky, quiet place, where everything is covered with dust, a place with no joy, where people do not eat or drink or see their loved ones. It is indeed a very gloomy place.

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"Events and Journeys in “The Epic of Gilgamesh”." StudyCorgi, 19 Jan. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "Events and Journeys in “The Epic of Gilgamesh”." January 19, 2021.


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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Events and Journeys in “The Epic of Gilgamesh”'. 19 January.

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