A Key Theme from “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, “Lila” and “Holy Bible”
The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia. It is often considered as one of the most ponderable works of literature. The literary history of the poem begins with five Sumerian poems about “Gilgamesh”, who was a king of Uruk. Then, these above-indicated separate stories were used as a major source material for a combined epic.
The principal character was two-thirds god and one-third man. He built prodigious and dignified temple towers, which surrounded his city with high walls. Although he was physically immensely strong and beautiful as well as very prudent mentally, but as a king he was a cruel despot. He ran over his subjects, raping any woman who struck his own fancy and it does not matter, whether she was his wife, the daughter of a nobleman or just one of his warriors (Mclemee, 2004).
One day the gods heard his subjects’ appeal and came to a resolution to help him by creating a man named Enkidu. Enkidu lives with animals, suckling at their breasts, grazing in the meadows as well as drinking at their watering places. They became friends but suddenly he died of an illness inflicted by the gods.
There are a lot of themes and questions which are brought up by an author.
The first one is the theme of love and friendship. When one first meets Gilgamesh, he is a despot, who terrifies the people of Uruk. He is an all-powerful king. Only after a meeting with Enkidu and becoming with him close friends, he becomes transform himself into a hero worthy of history. Such a platonic love between them helps Gilgamesh become a preferable leader to his nation by allowing him to better grasp and identify with them. In general, love and friendship can be considered as an integral component of human existence.
The next considerable theme is that of morality. Gilgamesh must take into consideration the fact that even he is a king he too must face the reality of his own death in the future. On their way to the Cedar Forst in order to face Humbaba, Enkidu speaks about his concern regarding death, which Gilgamesh laughs off, indicating that no one can live forever. Nevertheless, when Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh feels himself so confused and distraught. Thus, he begins to seek out Utnapishtim to find out the secret of immortality. He explains to Gilgamesh that the gods intentionally did the fact of death inescapable. Thus, he begins understand that the quality of person’s life is measure not by wealth as well as fame, but the quality of life a person spends while he or she is alive, and also the people with whom a person surrounds himself or herself.
Another one is the theme of the hero’s journey. The principal character begins to travel in order to discover his personality. At the outset, Enkidu travels from the wilderness with Shamhat to meet Gilgamesh. Then, Gilgamesh with Enkidu travel to the Cedar Forest to defeat Humbaba. After Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh personal journey pursues. In this case, Gilgamesh’s journey is an undeviating reflection of his internal effort and “journey” itself is an example of his desire to become a better, dedicated leader.
The next potent theme that runs through the poem is that of gateways. Both gateways as well as doors symbolize separation and transition. For example, Enkidu must transition from the wilderness to civilization. In this way, Shamhat herself personifies a gateway. After that, Enkidu enters Uruk with Shamhat, passing through the city’s high walls. Then, Gilgamesh must pass through the gate of Mashu, guarded by the Scorpion men in order to find Utnapishtim. To conclude, gateways serve as a powerful literary device to compel characters to make varied decisions that have an impact on the overall narrative.
“Lila” is a highly-acclaimed novel written by Marilynne Robinson, and is introduced in “Gilead”, which is formed like a 1956 diary, written by Ames for their young son Robby. “Home”, which takes place simultaneously with “Gilead”, regards another minister, Ames’s aching friend Robert Boughton as well as his children Glory and Jack (Acocella, 2014). Lila Ames is considered to be circumferential in both books than a little inscrutable. She is 41 in these books.
Lila is alone and without a roof over her head after of roaming the countryside, visits a small town Iowa City, where she teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Consequently, she becomes the much younger wife of a minister and elderly widowed John Ames, and begins a new existence whereas attempting to make sense of the life that preceded her recently found security.
Scorned as a toddler, Lila is rescued by Doll, who is a canny young drifter. Doll brings up her in a hard work and straggle. They both crafted a life on the run, living on short commons with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to defend them. Irrespective of bouts of petty violence and minutes of desperation and hopelessness, their life was laced with moments of great pleasure, joyfulness and love. When Lila appears in Gilead, she struggles to arrange the life of her makeshift family and their days of destitution with the benign and kind-hearted Christian point of view of her husband who very often paradoxically condemns those people she loves and appreciates.
In comparison with many other novels, “Lila” is tranquil, thoughtful and contemplative as well as deeply profound. It consists of varied universal, ethical as well as philosophical questions about the nature of existence: why are we live, does life have any reason or purpose?
A lot of themes run through the novel. One of such scenes is the scene in the bath. Here the author lays down all the novel’s principal themes: abandonment, suffering, rescue, forgiveness as well as the question of whether one actually wants to be rescued, or can be. The scene also involves the book’s metaphor, water, which will wash away our sins – or not.
Holy Bible is considered as a group of religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. It can be regarded as a collection of scriptures written at different times by different authors. The Bible is a part of divine record of the relationship between God and humans.
The Christian Bible consists of 66 books. The first 39 books are the Old Testament. It is considered as the first part of the God’s story of salvation (it is God’s lasting work of saving humanity from sins). The first five books focus on the story of how God chose the ancient Hebrews and taught them his laws (Bourgue, n.d.). The next five books pay attention to poetry and wisdom. The last Old Testament’s seventh books were written by Hebrew prophets. These books inform the readers about God’s disappointment with the ancient Hebrews.
The next part is called the New Testament. The principal part of the given book is the story of the life of Jesus Christ. There are four different versions of the story which are called the Gospels. Here one can also discover the story of what happened to the Church after Jesus’s death. It is told through varied Christian, especially Saint Paul (Rogers, 1935).
Acocella, Joan. “Lonesome Road.” The New Yorker. 6 October 2014.
Bourgue, Roy E. Insights on the Holy Bible. The Merging of Two Worlds. N.d.
Mclemee, Scott. From Gilgamesh to Armageddon. The New York Times. 7 March 2004.
Rogers, Bruce. The Holy Bible Containing The Old And New Testaments. Oxford: Printed at the University Press, 1935. Print.