Is Gilgamesh a Monomyth? by Ava McHugh

Is Gilgamesh a Monomyth?

Gilgamesh is a story that was written a long time ago in Mesopotamia about a king named Gilgamesh.  A monomyth is a story with the same idea as other stories about heroes from around the world.  Gilgamesh is a monomyth because he was called to adventure, he experiences initiation and transformation and he returns home with a treasure.

Gilgamesh is called to adventure when Enkidu and Shamhat die. Gilgamesh goes on a quest for immortality.  Gilgamesh is frightened of dying because his people will be left lost without him.

Gilgamesh experiences initiation and transformation in this story.  He saves a lion cub and goes through the Sea of Death.  I think he is transformed when he does these things because he shows bravery and courage.  He is also initiated as a hero.

Gilgamesh returns home with a treasure.  He does not bring immortality or the Flower of Youth but what he brings back is knowledge.  Enkidu takes him home and tells him that his immortality is “the city you built, the courage you showed and the good you have done.  Your story will be told forever in the hearts of people everywhere.” *

I think a monomyth is good for kids to read because they are encouraged to do great things.  Like, for instance, clean up the park or read more monomyths.  That’s why they should do these things because it’s such a good story.

* from The Last Quest of Gilgamesh by Ludmila Zeman

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