The Epic of Gilgamesh by Penguin Classics tells us of Gilgamesh’s adventure to seek his impractical wish for immortality. Throughout his quest, Gilgamesh creates bonds with others that aren’t expected, takes on challenges that accommodate not only himself, and realizes that fear and death are unavoidable. He grows as a character and king to his people of Uruk by eventually accepting mortality and his home was what he had been searching for all along.
The epic story politically reflects the Sumerian life during the Bronze Age. Gilgamesh is a terrifying and powerful king of Uruk and territorial state. Dominance of religion in city-states caused priests to rapidly gain power in Mesopotamia during the Bronze Age and legitimized political leadership. Known to be two thirds God and one third human, Gilgamesh was a strong leader over his centralized region.
There appeared to have been a hierarchal and stable society in Mesopotamia, as there also was in Gilgamesh’s territorial state, where warrior kings with strong military control ruled their politically fragmented kingdoms. Women, at this time, had no independence, men were responsible for property, and everyone knew their place in the social order. Male children were ideal. At the end of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu informs Gilgamesh that the more sons you have, the more desirable life will be in the world. Although men were usually linked with power, Enkidu actually blessed the prostitute who had tamed him.
The Bronze Age simply acquired its name due to the excessive amounts of bronze found in Mesopotamia, or the heart of trading network. Gilgamesh constantly conveyed his sword and axe whenever in battle, and the land he reined over had beautiful brickwork, clay pits and fields that gave indication of a strong ruler.
The Epic of Gilgamesh by Penguin Classics politically reflects the period of the Bronze Age by characterizing him as a strong warrior king and telling the reader about the time...