As representatives of the Gods. Sumerian male monarchs were seen to be superior to ordinary citizens and allowed male monarchs certain privileges and duties. Even though Gilgamesh abused his function as male monarch. these privileges and duties are weaved throughout the heroic poem. Kings were born as an extension of the Gods and hence. possessed traits similar to the Gods. The description of Gilgamesh claims that the Gods made him “two thirds… God and one 3rd adult male. ” ( 61 ) . He was besides given “unexampled domination over the people” ( 118 ) . This granted certain privileges as a male monarch. For one. Gilgamesh demanded to “be foremost with the bride” because this was a birth right “from the clip the umbilical cord was cut. ” ( 68 ) . The citizens besides claimed that “no boy is left with his male parent. for Gilgamesh takes them all. even the children” ( 62 ) . Along with privileges. Kings besides had a responsibility to be a “shepherd to his people” ( 62 ) . Kings built expansive walls and temples as a testament to the Gods. to protect the metropolis. and to expose the wealth and prestigiousness of the male monarch. In Uruk. Gilgamesh “built walls. a bulwark. and the temple of blest Eanna. ” ( 61 ) In add-on to constructing a brilliant metropolis. the Sumerian male monarch protected the metropolis from encroachers.
Many times this involved suppressing others to demo the king’s strength. Gilgamesh went to get the better of Humbaba to “established my name stamped on bricks as my fate decreed” ( 71 ) . Later. Gilgamesh “slew the bull” ( 88 ) when Ishtar’s father sent the “Bull of Heaven” ( 87 ) to destruct Uruk in the signifier of “seven old ages of drought” ( 73 ) . Gilgamesh was touted as “the most glorious of heros” ( 89 ) . Even though male monarchs were non seen as retainers to the Gods. the king’s function involved honouring the Gods. The counsellors of Uruk cautiousness Gilgamesh to “offer cold H2O to Shamash and do non bury Lugulbanda” ( 76 ) to guarantee his triumph against Humbaba. Gilgamesh offers to do “a glorious offering of gifts and of congratulations to Shamash” ( 72 ) if he is winning in the conflict with Humbaba.
However. Gilgamesh tended to anger the Gods more than honour them and this resulted in penalty to both Gilgamesh and his people. When Gilgamesh and Enkidu killed the Bull of Heaven. the Gods demanded that “one of the two must die” ( 89 ) . Gilgamesh was spared but Enkidu lost his life. The Epic of Gilgamesh provided a glance of Sumerian society and kingship. Sumerian male monarchs enjoyed privileges but besides had many duties for the wellbeing of their people and themselves. The male monarchs were non seen as retainers but as representatives of the Gods and hence. were elevated above the common adult male.