Desire, Discord and Death: Approaches to Near Eastern Myth by Neal Walls

By Neal Walls

The 3 essays offered during this quantity demonstrate the symbolic complexity and poetic imaginative and prescient of old close to jap mythology. during the program of up to date tools of literary research, the writer explores the interrelated issues of erotic wish, divine clash, and death’s realm in chosen historical Mesopotamian and Egyptian mythological narratives. subject matters contain the development of hope within the Gilgamesh epic, a psychoanalytic method of “The Contendings of Horus and Seth,” and gender and the workout of energy within the stormy romance of Nergal and Ereshkigal. Walls’ clean remedy of those 3 very important myths brings them to lifestyles for the professional and mythology buff alike.

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Extra info for Desire, Discord and Death: Approaches to Near Eastern Myth

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As the narrative progresses, however, it attributes to Shamhat an increasing subjectivity, as evidenced by her speech and interactions with Enkidu. After she tells him of Gilgamesh’s dreams, Enkidu and Shamhat again have sex, yet here the poet uses the phrase urtamm„ kilallΩn, “the couple made love to each other” (I 279). , garΩåu, nâku, reæû, åuææû), râmu is not restricted to a male subject. The poet’s choice of the Dt-stem conjugation in its reciprocal sense emphasizes the mutuality of the actions and the equality of both characters, male and female, as verbal subjects.

58 Thus, one need not establish a ritual context to appreciate the general association of Inana-Ishtar with the kings of Uruk, if only as a literary fiction. Like Abusch’s own funereal interpretation of Ishtar’s proposal, the sacred marriage tradition illuminates aspects of the text without exhausting its symbolism or resolving its ambiguities. Interpreters may recognize the sacred marriage symbolism without assuming the actual performance of the ritual as the scene’s setting. ”) (see Abusch 1986:148–49).

22). Cooper (1993:89–92) explains that the sacred marriage was a means for the king to gain legitimacy, to regulate relations between humans and deities, and to reaffirm the king’s and his people’s obligations to the gods. The sacred marriage therefore has more to do with the legitimization of the king than alleged fertility issues. As a king of Uruk, Gilgamesh should indeed have been the “beloved spouse of Inana,” according to Sumerian tradition. 57 Abusch (1986:157, n. 58 Thus, one need not establish a ritual context to appreciate the general association of Inana-Ishtar with the kings of Uruk, if only as a literary fiction.

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