Analysis Essay of Gilgamesh

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Jasmine Jackson
World Literature
October 23, 2012

Women: Wisdom or Temptation

In Gilgamesh there are different woman that come across both Enkidu and Gilgamesh' way that represent different things such as seduction, wisdom and also serve as a learning experience for both protagonist. Shamhat, Ishtar, Siduri, Utnapishtim wife and Rimat-Ninsun all play different roles in this epic,while Shamhat and Ishtar present the seduction a woman brings to man, as well as learning experiences, Siduri and Ninsun represent wisdom as well as the tender side of a women. Nonetheless all serve a purpose in shaping the heroic journey of both Enkidu and Gilgamesh in different ways. One of the first women that the reader encounters in the epic is Rimat-Ninsun, Gilgamesh' mother. She plays the role of a mother and cares for Gilgamesh like no other as well as a step-mother to Enkidu, just like a mother should. She is a goddess and when Gilgamesh has certain dreams, she reveals to him what they really mean, basically letting him know of Enkidu's coming and what is to come in his future. When Enkidu does make his way to Uruk, Ninsun prays for both Gilgamesh and Enkidu before they set on their quest to fight Humbaba in the forest. Ninsun serves as that person that tells Gilgamesh that his equal is soon to come but that it will be okay because Gilgamesh will love him and find a friend in him. While Ninsun, provides wisdom to Gilgamesh, not all women in the epic share the same role. The second woman that the reader encounters is the prostitute Shamhat. Shamhat is sent into the woods to bring Enkidu out of the wild and basically become in sync with his human-self. Enkidu represent the opposite of Gilgamesh, he is in full animal state when Shamhat finds him, even though he is human. Despite Enkidu's strength and strong like animal qualities, he is helpless to a women sexuality, “For seven days / [Enkidu] stayed erect and made love with her” .Shamhats sexuality and appeal basically...
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