Ishtar from the Epic of Gilgamesh

Ishtar is a goddess who plays a small but devastating part in a conflict between love and war. She escalates the battle of fire and sulfur with Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Enkidu received bereavement punishment from the gods as a result of this deed. Due to his unsuccessful quests for immortality, this added to Gilgamesh's demise. This aspect began when the goddess grew incredibly fond of Gilgamesh following his successful mission with Enkidu to slay Humbaba. (Sandars 19). But the goddess was never afraid to express her feelings; she approached Gilgamesh and told him she wished them to wed. Gilgamesh launched a rant contrary to her proposal stating that the goddess is a plundering sexual slayer that was not committed in her love affairs and imposed ghastly punishment on her ex-lovers. However, Gilgamesh fails to be honest with Ishtar in telling her that he was a prowling sexual slayer too. Ishtar does not value her state of being single (Sandars 23). To overcome this, she takes a trip to the highest heavens to speak to her father, Anu a sky-god. Her mission was to scrounge a bull of the dreamland that she would be send to punish her enemies on the earth.

It is clear that Ishtar gets all that she needs through Defcon 2-style irritability. Regardless of her father’s statement that all that Gilgamesh alleged was right, Ishtar did not dislodge. Her father warns her that the release of the Bull of Heaven will result in a long period of famine. Without enough food and lack of food security, the Bull of heaven will result to the death of many people due to the shortage of food and water. However, she states that she had tons of food in the storage comprised of grains and grass for animals.

The goddess is allowed to take the Bull. However, it is not clear whether she had food security as she informed her father or she wanted the people to die. This shows that the goddess was less concerned about the people (Sandars 41). Her anger to punish Gilgamesh and Enkidu may have triggered her vicious nature based on her norm of punishing her lovers. However, after the release of the Bull of Heaven, Gilgamesh kills the Bull. This aspect made the goddess angry, and she went to Uruk to morn her woeful curse.

The act of killing the Bull of heaven by Gilgamesh doesn’t seem like a woeful facet. Killing the Bull of Heaven was a heroic act by Gilgamesh for saving the people from death against the famine that would have been conveyed by the Bull. This aspect makes Enkidu enraged and throws the hind leg at the goddess. This made the goddess sad and facilitated the gathering of her cult to mourn the death of the Bull. It is unclear whether the goddess is worried about what to tell her father about the Bull but, it is evident that Ishtar in the epic is a woman that is very strong in protecting her sexual interest.

Hymn to Demeter

Homeric Hymn to Demeter provides a significant and comprehensive information about Demeter and Persephone the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Persephone was abducted while she was picking flowers. The earth yawned open, and she was carried away by Hades that appeared with his golden chariot. Demeter heard her daughter scream and rushed in pursuit. This aspect attributed to her action for not eating for nine days as she roamed around the earth seeking her daughter. However, on the ninth day the god of the sun Helius reached to her and informed her that he had seen everything and explained to Demeter what happened (Callimachus 67). However, the god of the sun informed Demeter that she should not lament since his brother Hades would make a good husband as he was a great god that has divine power that made him the king of the underworld.

Having known the truth, Demeter’s grief intensifies based on her rising anger against Zeus because he had willed the rape of her daughter. This aspect made her to avoid the gods of Olympus and disguised her appearance. This aspect was attributed to her decision to make her unrecognizable in her mission to pursue her daughter. Demeter ought to seek help in the Eleusis city. As she sat beside the Maiden well, she encountered a housekeeper of celeus. Demeter tells the housekeeper that she wanted to work as a nurse in a house for a living. This as a technique that Demeter ought to use in her effort to pursue her daughter. The housekeeper took her to Celeus house, and she was offered meals and wine (Callimachus 91). However, her grief and the need to see her daughter did not allow her to take any meals.

Based on Demeter's grief characterized by thrifty effort and longing for her daughter, caused for mortals a devastating year without harvest the world did not send up any sprout. As this wasn't enough, Demeter would not only destroy the entire race but also deprived the Olympian gods of their magnificent esteem gifts and sacrifices. This was her decision as she stated that she would not step on Olympus until she reunites with her daughter (Callimachus 114). This made Zeus to order Hade to return the daughter based on her mother’s demands wrist the underworld would not desist her wrath. This aspect mad Hade to release the daughter and her Demeter was reunited with her daughter. This aspect made Demeter to rush out the temple and due to her joy of seeing her daughter again. This joy made Demeter to restore fertility into the earth for mortals. The earth witnessed a miraculous increase in fruits, and the whole land blossomed with flowers.


Based on the above analysis of the ancient gods, it is evident that they controlled the social system, traditional rights, and customs. In the ancient Greece, the gods and heroes were crucial behemoths in people's lives. Gods ensured that the people remained united based on their rules and provision of security for their people. These aspects were characterized by common observation of their cultural practices and activities such as worship among other religious rituals. However, the gods were characterized by other inhumane characters based on their selfish interests. In consideration of Ishtar's facet, the goddess attributed the release of the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilgamesh and Enkidu. However, the Bull of Heaven was characterized by conveying famine that would have caused death due to prolonged drought. Similar to Demeter's scenario, she attributed drought to her people until she reunites with her daughter. This aspect shows that the gods were beings that were based on impaired judgments that wreaked their personal lives.

Works Cited

Callimachus. Callimachus: Hymn to Demeter. Cambridge University Press. 2004. Print

Sandars, N. The epic of Gilgamesh. Penguin Books Ltd. 1973. Print

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