The Epic of Gilgamesh
Through numerous experiences: his friendship with Enkidu, their dreams and journies together, and his quest for immortality, Gilgamesh changes from a selfish and cruel individual to a wise leader.
Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, was a spoiled and selfish person in character. There was no one who compared to his kingliness and as a result was running around Uruk out of control and unchecked. In efforts to find a balance Aruru created Enkidu out of clay and sent him into the wilderness to ultimately act as a counterbalance for Gilgamesh. There are many similarities between Gilgamesh and Enkidu, they were both endowed with traits gifted to them by the gods, they both had great strength and attributes, and they both were kings or king-like in their own lands. The most important similarity was the way they both cherished their friendship. When the two initially met they were not on good terms, they did not meet with intent to become friends, but did so after Enkidu challenged Gilgamesh to a fight and lost. I think Gilgamesh at this point thinks so highly of himself that he respects Enkidu for trying or even attempting to challenge him. After the brawl, Enkidu recognizes that Gilgamesh is unique in his strength and agility, after they kissed and became friends Gilgamesh changes almost instantly because he has someone educate Enkidu so that he can stay in civilization, this act of kindness was something that Gilgamesh would not have done at all for anyone prior to their fighting and becoming friends. Gilgamesh has already begun transforming from a very egocentric mindset to one who has become aware of others and has a genuine interest in helping Enkidu which is very much a selfless act since Enkidu cannot reciprocate anything to Gilgamesh at this point except compliment him.
There is definitely a theme of dreams in this epic and it plays a huge role for the times in which it was written. It is my understanding that the culture...
Cited: Damrosch, David and David L. Pike. The Longman Anthology of World Literature. “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, 71-113.
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