Job and Gilgamesh: a Comparison of Inevitable Suffering Essays

1049 Words Oct 10th, 2012 5 Pages
Job and Gilgamesh: A Comparison of Inevitable Suffering
It has been said that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. But is it? When looking at extraordinary pieces of literature such as the biblical Book of Job and the Epic of Gilgamesh, describing such physical and emotional pain and the mental and spiritual suffering that the main characters endured, it tells us that their suffering was just as inevitable as their pain. However, the two men dealt very differently with the tragedies lived and their consequences; and that made all the difference in their trajectory. What differentiated their suffering was the simple fact of being able to accept their humanity. In a world controlled by gods and goddesses, humans, regardless
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As great as he was, his existence was only as great as allowed by the gods, and it was not made worth by his own excellence, but by the virtues that were given to him by the gods. Job also sees that he is too human to even question the decisions and the plans of his god, and that all of his plans are always accomplished. Although Job never receives an answer as to why he had to endure so much suffering, he still acknowledges the power of god and does not try to validate his existence, which is also made as great as permitted by his god. Although both men endured suffering for different reasons, Job passed through it passively and, as much as he was disturbed with the calamities brought upon him, he was satisfied with himself and with his humanity. Gilgamesh, on the other hand, was unfulfilled with who he was and perturbed by his mortality, which no man can ever change. Both their destinies were already dictated, one just knew how to accept it while the other did not.
As humans, all men are faced with suffering, which may appear unbearable, and sometimes it is indeed fatal. Life can only go as smooth as planned as long as there is no plan, and we are not reminded that we have emotions and a human body, that we are not the superheroes we once dreamed to become. As soon as pain strikes, whether physical or emotional, so does

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