TASK: Analyze The Epic of Gilgamesh through an anti-civ lens
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest story ever written down, even older than the Bible. It comes from ancient Mesopotamia where the world’s first civilizations developed. Therefore, it is a “cultural snapshot” of what early “Takers” believed, the stories that early Takers told their children. In this assignment, you will look for clues in the Gilgamesh story that characterizes him and his people as “Takers.” In other words, what in the story matches up with what we call ‘civilization’? How did Gilgamesh himself, or anything else in the story, epitomize the Taker mindset?
Read the article “Gilgamesh- The Long Version (article link: http://wildancestors.blogspot.com/2011/09/gilgamesh-long-version.html)” from the What is Sustainable blog, pages 13-20 of the PDF of Forests the Shadow of Civilization.pdf by Harrisonand watch the animated version of the Epic of Gilgamesh story from youtube (Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pGhEu9elnA&t=202s), Then:
Write a 2 page (double spaced) paper in which you respond to the article and book excerpts’ ideas in relation to the ‘anti-civ’ theme we have covered in the class. You will be graded on your ability to connect the sources I gave you (article, book excerpt) to the Gilgamesh story. You can also reference Ishmael and anything else I’ve given you in class, or from outside. Just make sure it’s clear when you’re referencing something.
Remember that the Epic of Gilgamesh is the first written story in recorded history, from one of the first ‘taker’ cultures in history (the Sumerians of Mesopotamia), but that every “leaver/tribal/paleolithic” culture has had their own stories to explain their places in the world too. How does the story of King Gilgamesh reflect the world view of ‘civilization’? (the Earth/nature belongs to man and is there for our use) What does immortality signify to Gilgamesh and taker culture as a whole? How does the story of Gilgamesh ‘conquering’ (cutting) the cedar forests to gain immortality and power, and the story of the great flood, relate to the themes we have covered in class? These are just some questions to consider, you need not answer them specifically.
**I have also attached the pdf