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Updated September 13, 2022

Books Of The Personality About Ishmael And Gilgamesh

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Books Of The Personality About Ishmael And Gilgamesh essay
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If you have ever played a sport, you may have experienced hubris from a ball hogging teammate. Sometimes the player wants to score so badly that her bad decision results in losing the ball. And sometimes her poor judgement leads to the team losing the game. We see hubris in both the novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, and in the Epic, Gilgamesh. Hubris is having excessive pride or self-confidence. Furthermore, both texts illustrate that hubris frequently has a detrimental effect because human self confidence can go too far; humans can destroy nature, or hurt their families or friends.

Throughout Gilgamesh, the main character Gilgamesh shows hubris many times during the epic. For instance, Gilgamesh demonstrates hubris when he goes to the Cedar Forest to challenge Humbaba, the nature divinity commissioned by the gods to guard the forest. Gilgamesh then cuts down all the trees. Humbaba is a divine being and Gilgamesh just wants to prove to humbaba that he is more powerful than the gods so he can surpass the gods boundaries.

An example of the claim that is being made is the following: “I will fight Humbaba, I will cut down his cedars…I will defeat him in his cedar forest” (Mason 30). This quote describes how Gilgamesh wants to defeat Humbaba and his Forest. Gilgamesh wants to prove a point and by doing this he ends up destroying nature. Unfortunately Gilgamesh’s hubris goes too far and the effects of his hubris are that he ends up losing a dear friend.

Hubris in the novel Ishmael is a little different than in Gilgamesh. In Ishmael, hubris describes a collective point of view, which involves all mankind. A collective point of view is To further my point, the protagonist Ishmael, who happens to be a gorilla, talks to the narrator about mother culture. Mother culture is everything humans have been taught since they were babies. From the start, humans have been educated that they are superior to nature. This idea of hubris expresses that humans are taking from nature just to feel primary. This also leads to the point of “takers” and “leavers.” In life, takers are the humans which means that they constantly take from nature just to fit their own selfish needs. On the other hand, leavers are the unselfish non-humans in nature that only use what they need to survive. This point connects to hubris because humans have excessive pride and self-confidence when it comes to exploiting nature.

To conclude, the following quote says it perfectly: “The premise of the Taker story is that the world belongs to man… . The premise of the Leaver story is man belongs to the world” (Quinn 39). This quote says that takers believe the world is theirs and they can do whatever they please. On the other hand, leavers are trying to live in harmony with nature, knowing that there is no other way to survive.

The effects of hubris had a big impact on both characters in boths texts. Since Ishmael is more of a collective point of view, the effects of hubris in this book relates to all mankind. To further this point, the effects of hubris in the novel Ishmael is that humans are taking from nature and destroying it, but we aren’t giving anything back. On the other hand, In the epic Gilgamesh, the point of view is individual meaning Gilgamesh’s effects are just in relation to him.

The effect of gilgamesh’s hubris is when he ends up losing his best friend enkidu. Sense enkidu and Gilgamesh killed both humbaba and the bull of Heaven one of them had to die Hubris is the connecting element throughout both of these texts. Gilgamesh showed hubris when he went to the cedar forest and cut down all of the trees for no apparent reason. This text focuses on the individual and how harmful hubis can be even from an individual like Gilgamesh. Ishmael displays more of a collective hubris. In this text, hubris was explained by the protagonist Ishmael when he gave lessons about mother culture, and how humans feel they are superior to nature and therefore can do anything to it. This quote strings both Ishmael and Gilgamesh together: “I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on the planet. He is apart of a community, upon which he depends absolutely”(Quinn 101). Ishmael describes Gilgamesh in the sense that when he cuts down the trees, he is destroying nature just because he feels superior and uses his hubris to prove a point. Ishmael is trying to teach the narrator that humans do not take care of the environment, and that they treat it poorly and selfishly (taking from it and not giving much back because of our mother culture has taught us to be possessive).

The individual hubris can be just as destructive as the collective hubris and both have similar elements. Hubris is a characteristic defined as excessive pride and self-confidence. Many humans take hubris too far like hogging the ball in a game even if it means losing the entire game. In both texts, it is evident that hubris leads to destruction. Gilgamesh loses a lot through his desire to prove a point. Ishmael understands how hubris can rob the environment and create hardship for those depending on simply surviving.

Books Of The Personality About Ishmael And Gilgamesh essay

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