Honors English, A-1
Death, loss, deception, if you have experienced any of these then you probably gone through the five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance, all of us will go through the first four stages but for some of us acceptance may never come and the only thing you can do is adjust to your situation. Gilgamesh, the main character of the book, goes through every stage of grief more than once. The cause of his grief is the imminent death and death of his close friend Enkidu. The first stage we see Gilgamesh go through is anger at Ishtar, Uruk’s patroness and her offer to marry Gilgamesh for he knows her love only brings curses on the men in love with her and say “Your love brings only war!/ You are an old fat whore, that’s all you are”(43). The next stage Gilgamesh goes through is denial of his friends coming death. After Enkidu tells Gilgamesh that the gods have chosen him himself to die for both of their sins Gilgamesh says, even though Enkidu’s death is clearly imminent “My brother, it is the fever only”(Gilgamesh 46). Then, strangely enough, it seems the next stage Gilgamesh goes through is a form of acceptance of Enkidu’s death in saying “Gilgamesh knew his friend was close to death”(48). Gilgamesh then goes through the third stage, bargaining Tears filled his eyes as he appealed to Ninsun, his mother, and to the Elders
Not to explain but to save his friend(48).
Then as Enkidu is dying Gilgamesh experiences depression, Enkidu notices it and says Your eyes have changed.
You are crying. You never cried before.
It’s not like you (50).
After Enkidu dies the next two pages are pretty much all about Gilgamesh’s depression. Some examples are Gilgamesh wept bitterly for his friend
He felt himself now singled out for loss
Apart from everyone else (53).
Another example of Gilgamesh’s depression is
Gilgamesh wandered through the desert...
Cited: Gilgamesh. Trans. Herbert Mason. New York: Penguin, 1970
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