Billy R. Nordyke
The main character in the book The Epic of Gilgamesh, is Gilgamesh
himself. In the beginning of the book one realizes that Gilgamesh is an
arrogant person. Gilgamesh is full of himself and abuses his rights as king.
He has sexual intercourse with the virgins of his town and acts as though he is
a god. Although some readers of this classic book may say that Gilgamesh does
not change from the beginning of the book, it can easily be interpreted the
other way. Throughout the book, many things cause Gilgamesh to change. He
gains a friend, he makes a name for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries to
become immortal because of the death of Enkidu. Through these main actions his
personality changes and he becomes a better person.
First, the quest for immortality after the death of Enkidu shows that
Gilgamesh has changed. Gilgamesh becomes frightened when he realizes that he
isn't immortal. After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh tries to find immortality
by trying to cross the ocean to find it. He sounds pathetic as he rambles of
his reason for trying to find everlasting life. His state of being at this part
in the book, which is the end, is completely different from his arrogant
beginning of this epic. Gilgamesh has gone from arrogant to scared.
Second, the death of Humbaba changes Gilgamesh. Humbaba is evil. Many
people who live in the city of Uruk fear Gilgamesh. Most would say that
Gilgamesh himself is, in fact, evil. He has sex with the virgins, he does what
he wants, and he tends to offend the gods. He has lots of problems with Ishtar.
By going into the forest and facing Humbaba, Gilgamesh makes a name for himself
and changes the views of the people in his city. This is a very arguable point.
Yes, the past of Gilgamesh does not change, but the great deed of killing
Humbaba, makes him a better person because he protects his city. This is
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