جۆری توێژینهوه: Original Article
College of Languages, University of Salahadin, Kurdistan, Iraq
This paper discusses one of the major conflicts between humans and the wild, natural life as portrayed in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest surviving great literary work of Mesopotamia. This epic is a prototypical, original narrative about the difficulties which the human groupings face in their confrontation with Nature. The text commences with a description of Uruk city and the wall surrounding it, built to protect the cultural against the natural. There are three protectors seen in the Epic: Gilgamesh, the protector of Culture; Enkidu, the protector of Nature first, the enemy of Nature afterwards; Humbaba, the protector of Nature per se. The lack of harmony among the three conflicting powers sparks the continuous tensions in Gilgamesh. The turning point in the Epic occurs when Enkidu joins forces with Gilgamesh in order to shield their culture by cutting down the Cedar forest. Ecocide is committed only after Endiku and Gilgamesh ally with the god of the Sun, Shamsh, in order to be spared the retaliation of nature as represented in Humbaba. But Gilgamesh will face the dark destiny of Nature's retaliation in an unexpected manner. This retaliation will be in the form of Nature's refusal to grant him immortality that he aspired for and sought for day and night in the last part of his life.
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