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Which Myth Most Profoundly Explores the Costs of Knowledge and Power: Gilgamesh, Prometheus, or Pandora?

Which Myth Most Profoundly Explores the Costs of Knowledge and Power: Gilgamesh, Prometheus, or Pandora?

In this module, we explore three ancient stories that have intrigued scholars and readers for centuries: the Epic of Gilgamesh, the myth of Prometheus, and the tale of Pandora. Each narrative, from different cultures, presents a unique perspective on the human desire to exceed our natural limits—through the quest for immortality, the acquisition of forbidden knowledge, or the unleashing of unforeseen consequences. These stories are not just relics of the past; they offer insights into timeless questions about ambition, wisdom, and the human condition.

Why Compare These Stories?

We compare these stories because they each address a critical aspect of humanity’s relationship with the divine and the natural order. Gilgamesh’s journey reflects the personal quest for eternal life, Prometheus’s actions consider the gift of knowledge and its implications, and Pandora’s curiosity explores the consequences of actions beyond our understanding. By examining these tales side by side, we can better understand the complex dynamics between human ambition and divine decree, and what it means to seek beyond what is allowed.

Discussion Prompt:

With the narratives of Gilgamesh, Prometheus, and Pandora in mind, which story do you think most effectively illustrates the consequences of pursuing knowledge or power beyond our bounds? What can we learn about balancing ambition with humility from these ancient tales?

Organizing Your Response

Provide Two Proofs: In your response, you must draw upon two distinct examples from our module reading. For each, articulate a clear argument supported by an analysis that supports your overall position.

Use Direct Quotes: To strengthen your argument, include a direct quote of no more than ten words from our readings in both paragraphs.

Structured Analysis: Present your analysis in two separate paragraphs, one for each creation story you choose. This structure will allow you to focus your argument and provide a cohesive analysis of each myth’s societal implications.

Source: Gilgamesh, Prometheus, and Pandora PDF


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