Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Gilgamesh, Love, Death, Goddess, Tourism, Journey, Ishtar, Immortality

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/05

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Inanna is considered in ancient Sumerian culture to be the goddess of procreation, fertility, life, death and love. She had several names but was commonly referred to as the Queen of heaven and earth. Other names were the first daughter of the moon and to signify the planet Venus she was called the morning and evening star. Dumuzi was referred to as both the shepherd and the king and he was the fifth king of Erech in the pre Deluge era. Inanna was a special goddess of the city of Erech. The temple in Erech also called Uruk was the greatest temple of Inanna. This temple was regularly renovated to accommodate sacred women who maintained the temple. It was the duty of Inanna’s high priestess to nominate a shepherd for her bed that would be a representation of her sacred lover Dumuzi. It is believed that the engagement of Inanna and Dumuzi established sacred marriage.
The myth about the descent of Inanna is a tale that describes her trip to the underworld in a bid to pay homage to her sister Ereshkigal who is the queen of the underworld. Inanna wanted to offer her respects to Ereshkigal and to be present at the funeral of Ereshkigal’s husband. The sister however was jealous and did not want Inanna to witness the secrets of the underworld by mere observation but she wanted Inanna instead to experience it by dying. In her journey she had to pass through seven gates and she was commanded to give away one of her queenly ornaments in order to pass any gate. At the seventh gate Inanna had to give away her robe so that she could secure entry. When she was presented to Ereshkigal she was naked and the underworld judges, the annuana, passed judgment on Inanna.
Ereshkigal spoke against Inanna and was hanged on the wall. It took the intervention of her faithful servant ninshubur and Enki the god of wisdom to release her from Ereshkigal. Inanna had to give away a replacement so that she could be allowed to make her way to the upper world. They met Dumuzi, Inanna’s husband sitting on his throne with no indicators of lamentations for a missing lover and Inanna spoke a word of wrath against him. It is evident that the relationship between Inanna and Dumuzi was not that strong as we do not find Dumuzi bothered by the absence of Inanna for all the days that she was in the underworld. The true identity of Dumuzi is not clarified whether he was human or a god. Nevertheless, Inanna’s role as a goddess of procreation stands out more than the role as a goddess of love.
Dumuzi has a dream about his death and he tells it to Geshtinana who tells him he is about to be overthrown by evil men who are coming for him in erech. Although the demons are not able to catch him, he continues to flee, but he is captured and doomed to the underworld. Inanna is emotional and she mourns the loss of her lover, she felt compassion at Geshtinana’s loss and she made Dumuzi go the underworld for half the year and Geshtinana would go for the other half since she had pledged to share Dumuzi’s fate. Dumuzi was placed by Inanna in the hands of the eternal. The love between Geshtinana and Dumuzi appears to be stronger given that Geshtinana is willing to share in the fate of Dumuzi and also because she did not betray his whereabouts no matter the torture. Moreover the way she lamented after the capture of Dumuzi is an indicator of the strong relationship they had, considering that this moved Inanna to be compassionate of Dumuzi’s fate.
The interaction of the characters is symbolic as witnessed in the case of Inanna. Inanna’s descent is metaphorical to the cycle of life that is death, resurrection and rebirth. Inanna was able to appreciate the ways of the underworld through her trip. Dumuzi, on the other hand, was able to be transformed into an eternal being. Gilgamesh starts on a journey in an attempt to attain immortality but the task he is given is impossible with his mortal self and after this he is able to appreciate his mortality.
Unlike the myth of Inanna and Dumuzi the Gilgamesh epic is devoid of feminine love. However, love still plays a major role and we establish that Enkidu’s learning process begins with his sexual intimacy with a temple prostitute. Gilgamesh turns down Ishtar who has immense lust for him because of their triumphant fight with Humbaba a demon in the forbidden cedar forest. Ishtar is outraged and convinces his father to punish Gilgamesh. The interactions between Gilgamesh and Enkidu acts as a restraint to both characters in how they behave, Enkidu’s illness and death which was inflicted by the gods is a major blow to Gilgamesh who starts on a journey to try and discover the secrets of the gods.
Death is a center point in both loves between Enkidu and Gilgamesh and that of Inanna and Dumuzi in both instances the death of a character is consequential. Inanna appreciates the ways of the underworld and she decides to go ahead with her decision to offer her replacement even after she has regained her godly status. Gilgamesh on the other hand decides to take a journey in an attempt to gain immortality after the death of Enkidu. Although he does not come to terms with Enkidu’s death after the journey to Utnapishtim he is unable to achieve immortality but he returns to Erech at which point he is in agreement with his mortality.
Both of these myths involve a king and a goddess. Both the kings are able to perform better after the interactions with the gods. For instance because of the love between Inanna and Dumuzi, Erech is able to go through a period of prosperity with Inanna as the goddess and Dumuzi as the king. Gilgamesh on the other hand turns down the advances of Ishtar and the gods send a bull which is killed by Gilgamesh and Enkidu, nonetheless famine is in the region for seven years. Thus the community is not able to witness a phase of prosperity. It can be learned from the myth that gods are dangerous to mortals and that although gods exist by their own rules they occasionally behave irrationally and at times recklessly.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 05) Good Essay About Mesopotamian Myth. Retrieved August 01, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-mesopotamian-myth/
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Good Essay About Mesopotamian Myth. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-mesopotamian-myth/. Published Nov 05, 2020. Accessed August 01, 2021.
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