Essay, Research Paper: Flood Stories And Gilgamesh

Literature: Gilgamesh

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“The Flood Stories” The amazing stories of the great flood that are
described in, The Epic of Gilgamesh which is translated by N.K. Sandars and
“The Story of the Flood” which is the King James version, both stories
similarly. Many of the events of each story are very similar in ways and very
different in some of them. From reading both stories I concluded that there was
a huge flood that took place in that area of the world. Even though the way both
stories describe the flood; The Epic of Gilgamesh is more imaginable. I say that
because it is more realistic to have rain for six days, six nights than for
forty days, forty nights. Both flood stories have a major similarity and
difference though. Both stories described the same flood but they did it in
different ways. One difference that backs it up is in The Epic of Gilgamesh the
rains that cause the floods only last six days, six nights and in “The Flood
Story in Genesis” the rains last forty days, forty nights. A quote that tells
about the flood is when Utnapishtim said, “For six days and six nights the
wind blew, torrent and tempest and flood overwhelmed the world, tempest and
flood raged together like warring hosts (pg. 25).” This quote by Utnapishtim
describes how bad the weather, rains, and wind were during the six days and six
nights of the storm. On the other hand in “The Story of the Flood” it rained
for forty days, forty nights. While God was talking to Noah he said, “For yet
seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty
nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the
face of the earth (pg. 48 line 4).” This quote describes how long God will
have the rain go for. It also says that he is doing it to destroy all of
mankind. After reading the two stories I concluded that forty days and forty
nights was too long for it to rain without stopping; that is why the flood in
Gilgamesh is more realistic. The length of the rains in the flood story in The
Epic of Gilgamesh is easier for someone to believe than the length of the rains
in Genesis. Even though the stories were different there was many similarities
in the stories. In The Epic of Gilgamesh after the rains had stopped
Utnapishtim’s arc landed on top of, Mt. Nisir, a mountain. It was the only
place above the floodwaters that you could see. Utnapishtim said, “ I looked
for land in vain, but fourteen leagues distant there appeared a mountain, and
the boat grounded; on the mountain of Nisir the boat held fast, she held fast
and did not budge (pg. 25).” This quote describes how Utnapishtim was looking
for land while stranded out in the floodwater and the only place he could see
was Mount Nisir. Correspondingly, in “The Story of the Flood” basically the
similar thing happened. After the forty days and forty nights of rain Noah
landed on Mount Ararat which is geographically three hundred miles away from
Mount Nasir. This is another way to prove that the flood was probably real and
not just a story to tell children so they would be scared to cause chaos. The
two stories are both similar for the way described in the above paragraph. The
major similarity between the two stories is that the god or gods sent the flood
because the people of the world because they were causing chaos and were
corrupt. In The Epic of Gilgamesh Enlil and the other gods were mad about how
the people were taking too much control and that is why the gods sent the flood.
Ea told Utnapishtim in a dream to build an arc because the gods were going to
send a flood that was going to wipe out all of mankind. “ O man of Shurrupak,
son of Ubara-Tutu; tear down your house and build a boat, abandon possessions
and look for life, despise worldly goods and save your soul alive. Tear down
your house, I say, and build a boat. These are the measurements of the baroque
as you shall build her: let her beam equal her length, let her deck be roofed
like the vault that covers the abyss; then take up into the boat the seed of all
living creatures (pg. 23-24).” In addition “The Story of the Flood” for
about the same reasons God did the same thing. God said, “The end of all flesh
is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and,
behold, I will destroy them with the earth(pg. 47 line 13).” Finally, he told
Noah to build an arc while walking and talking to him. He told him to build an
arc because he was going to have a flood fueled by forty days and forty nights
of rain. Therefore the two stories are both similar in the reason why the god or
gods sent it. In conclusion the flood stories in The Epic of Gilgamesh and the
flood story of Genesis are the same in ways and different in some. You can
conclude this from the reasons given above. These stories relate to the world
and people today because people look to the flood stories for religious reasons.
When people look at these stories they feel that if they start to become corrupt
and chaotic that a god might make a natural disaster to wipe out mankind. That
is the importance that the flood stories have on all of mankind.
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