The tensions in “Gilgamesh” between wildness and the entry of civilization is perceivable in relation to the story’s plot development, whereby one can appreciate similar pressure and its effect in today’s culture. For civilization to occur in a cultural concept, there have to be facilitative influences in the environment to allow the entry process to be seamless and accepted within society. In the reflection of the significance of characters in the “Gilgamesh” environment, the plot changes from the role of women and other significant contributors to societal norms and situation change over. Transformation, as visualized in this process, is thus discussed along with the dimensions of intensity, extent, and participation of social groupings.
In “Gilgamesh,” the position of each of the characters is oriented towards the interaction of new societal settings through civilization versus the retention of the existing state. Various situations illustrate the position of the central character culminating to his death as a sum of the initial statement towards the fate of all men. The tension in this setting, in the capacity expressed by the Sumerians, not only relates to the cultural situation of the characters, but it also captures the two heroes in the setting, and in this way, integrates social surroundings into the tale to enhance it.
The modern day depictions of such experiences in literature and societal interactions display similar handling of tension not only within the concept of society but also as a human trait of communication. Similarly, Sumerians illustrate ancient dealings concerning the interest of culture and persons in positions of leadership. The integration of heroes and death in the overall theme of the fate of men captures the real intent of the entire tale, to reflect the culture of this community. The story expresses the position of characters such as Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the context of the tension between conflict and development of tension. Inasmuch as these concepts appreciate the level of interest of cultural contexts in the ancient setting, it is possible to identify differences in expression of the emergence of characters as significant contributors to the transformation of civilization as in the case of the Sumerians.
Illustration of the story using the transformation of a community through civilization facilitates the development of a plot in a similar context as observable in contemporary culture and literal expressions of these cultures. The factual state of these expressions captures the status of the participants in the tension between the interests of the Sumerians, which allowed the growth of civilization as compared to the collapse of wildness. Heroism also advances a similar position of the context of civilization, since the heroes who emerge (Gilgamesh and Enkidu) are the facilitators of this development (Vulpe 279). Also, the is the idea of a comparison of the civilized versus the uncivilized in the context of the death of the central character. The fusion of the concept of death as a contributor to advancing sociocultural perceptions and tension and as an advancement of civilization within this community also adds to the process in the story (Vulpe 277). Each of the two approaches for civilization interact on a powerful sense and in this way allows the reader to appreciate the parallels position of characters including heroes, women, and religious belief in the observation of the concerns of the community of the ancient Sumerians.
In the overall sense, the position of partnerships between Gilgamesh and Enkidu involve both a complimentary and oppositely position enhancing the tension. In the developing of the plot, one may recognize the significance of social concepts in facilitating the entry of civilizations to the ancient Sumerian community. Therefore, to appreciate a similar position of social tension in modern literature, it is important to identify the protagonists and assess their significance towards cultural transformation. This also applies in similar context towards the position of cultural advancement in modern day civilization. One may assume that their community supports similar approaches in civilization and development of existing civilizations. In this way, the position of cultural context in affecting transformation as observed in the Sumerian setting may work in similar ways. Tension not only facilitates the development of cultural change, but it may also form the basis of civilization of entire communities as within this story.
On the other hand, the discussion of the role of women in the epic and their interactions with the plot in “Gilgamesh” covers the necessity of cultural significance of this role and its importance in the development of factual events in our culture. The participation of various women in different capacities offers the analyst the platform for the analytical consideration of Ishtar, Ninsun, and Enkidu’s position in the entire interaction (Mason 19-21). Activities not only present a contradictory position for the reader, but they also enhance the position of each character in ways that engage the story with more possibilities for plot and the moderation of the concepts of culture and civilization.
The view expressed by Ishtar in possession of power in some situations and its incapability in others is a symbolic position of women within settings where their ability is insufficient in transforming their environments. Ishtar cannot call down the Bull of Heaven herself, and has to call upon a higher male power to perform in her capacity since she falls short (Mason 44). It is possible to consider the role of the woman in this setting of literal derivation as a limited being, which can be reflected in cultural typecasts in society. The woman in power is still deemed to be limited in acting in specific situations and must depend on male influence to capture full capacity of leadership as in Ishtar’s case as a goddess. Also, it is possible to consider a parallel comparison of a woman in a leadership position who compares in capacity to her mistakes with Ishtar’s interactions with lovers. She, therefore, fits the profiled typecast of being a civilizer and a sexually perverse character. The comparability of her character with the idealized setting where women in power find themselves in draws from societal perceptions towards women.
In similar capacity, it is possible to consider Ninsun (Gilgamesh’s mother) as a contributor to civilization as compared to other members of the cultural position of the Sumerians is momentous. Inasmuch as she decides to go below her goddess state and marry, her input towards the transformation of societal perspectives in this scenario is in the oppression of norms (Mason 24). Regardless of the social perception she creates (as a fool), she still facilitates the entire process and contributes a noteworthy role to the progression of the story. Her role, towards the formulation of cultural dynamics in this setting, are therefore an inspiration by a lack of societal transformation to which she introduced civility and modernism in social philosophy state.
The idea of the comparison of civilization versus the uncivilized captures the participation of temple priestesses on varying capacity. Their contribution is not in a generalized setting since they take a dynamic position in the entire setting, on both the sides of civilization and uncivilized community. The interest of each of these persons in contributing towards the enlightenment process falls either in the ‘prostitutes’ of ‘civilizers’ within the script, which illustrates the position of women in the society in the development of shared ideals and cultural ideologies (Mason 22-24). Since the society classifies the women in positions as sacred (priestesses in this case) within strictly defined titles, there are fewer roles for one to fit. In this epic, the apparels observable towards other literature is the advocating for alignment of ideals. This means that a female character is either a proponent or as antagonists and cannot fill other capacities simply because their position is defined from the beginning.
Such roles are comparable to the position offered to men such as Enkidu, who is a dynamic male character adopting several positions in the development of the story. In comparison, male characters in this and other literatures are not only a positive influence on the female, but they also enforce the positive model within the story. Enkidu functions as a curse and blessing towards the priestesses and the woman involved in his civilization process. The Society also subscribes to the conception of limiting female actors and judging them when they do not act as expected of them (Mason 27). Ninsun undergoes such judgment, which makes it difficult for one to sway from their intended purpose without gaining the label of a failure. A comparison of Ninsun’s position and Gilgamesh’s failures allows one to identify the reduced position of women towards acting in society whereas their male equivalents enjoy better socio-cultural attitudes.
In conclusion, it is possible to postulate the relation of the entire epic to societal norms and question the truth of the whole script and the script that society subscribes to. Based on discussions on the necessity of appreciating the position of women on a more tolerant approach, it appeals to both culture and literature. Since these concepts cannot relate directly to the interests of the societal orientation of all communities, one must appreciate their significance in their cultural setting. This means that the concepts expressed by this entire script are only functional within one’s environment depending on the cultural and social ideals in one’s community. On the other hand, it is possible to summarize the process of tensions between wildness and civilization in the epic on the basis of current cultural contexts. Comparison to other literature and cultures have revealed the necessity of change within civilization and the participation of social and cultural ideologies. The heroes in the story, as a realistic depiction of an ancient society, relate largely to modern tales of tension and conflict in society.
Mason, Herbert. Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrative. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
Vulpe, Nicola. “Irony and the Unity of the Gilgamesh Epic.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 53, no 4, 1994, pp. 275-283.