Epic of Gilgamesh

Topics: Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Gilgamesh Pages: 3 (948 words) Published: November 24, 2012
The Epic Of Gilgamesh

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh undertakes a journey of self-discovery and transformation from a tyrannical leader to a refined, mature and wiser king.  The hero of Uruk, who is two-thirds god and one-third man, was introduced as the reigning monarch of Uruk who was a notorious rapist causing hatred and concern within in the kingdom. In the epic, his friendship and adventures undertaken with Enkidu, the death of Enkidu, and his failure to achieve immortality are key factors that led to the development of Gilgamesh's character. By the end of the epic, Gilgamesh, who was initially antagonistically depicted as domineering, transforms into the wiser protagonist who has the courage to accept the notion of death and his fate as a mortal

Throughout their friendship Enkidu manages to divert Gilgamesh from his tyrannical activities and instead teaches Gilgamesh the meaning of companionship. Enkidu was created by the gods to distract Gilgamesh from abusing his power as a king who indulged in his own appetites. Gilgamesh would take all the sons away from their fathers and “leave no virgin to her lover” however through his brotherhood with Enkidu, Gilgamesh learns true friendship. Another example of this can be seen before the fight against the giant Humbaba when he says “when two go together each will protect himself and shield his companion, and if they fall they leave an enduring name” (Gilgamesh, p.20). This shows that Gilgamesh is no longer selfish and only cares about himself, but also that he learns to care fro his friend Enkidu. Enkidu encourages him by going with Gilgamesh stating they can protect each other and if they fail to slayHumbaba then they will fall together There is great emphasis in this quote showing that in whatever they do they will always be together to protect each other. Thus his friendship with Enkidu refines Gilgamesh as a ruler as he no longer abuses his powe as king. Instead, Gilgamesh's energy is...

Cited: 1. N, K. Sanders. Gilgamesh. The Norton Anthropology of World Literature, Ed. Norton & Company. Sarah Lawall. New York, 2002, 10-41. Print
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