Evolution Of Gilgamesh Essay

1113 words - 4 pages

The Evolution of GilgameshThe Epic of Gilgamesh is a story told for thousands of years. The people of Uruk narrate the tale of the maincharacter, Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh has the body of a god and strength no one could ever compete with. He is two-thirdgod,one-third man, and the king of Uruk. He is very immature. It makes one wonder how he was ever appointed the king of this city. Gilgamesh is also arrogant, selfish, and disrespectful. He kills sons and has sex with all the virgins, leaving them impure for their future husbands. Gilgamesh is forceful and he answers to no one.The people of Uruk cry out to the gods for help because Gilgamesh is destroying the city with his actions. The skygod, Anu, hears the pleas of the citizens of Uruk and decides to do something about his behavior. He creates hiscounterpart, Enkidu, who will match Gilgamesh's strength.Enkidu is a wild man. He runs with animals and is their protector against humans. The temple harlot, Shamhat, goesto the watering hole where all the animals gather. She offers herself to him and he remains with her for six days and seven nights. This is when Enkidu crosses into manhood. He loses his strength and his ability to run with the animals. The animals shun him. Enkidu then leaves with Shamhat to travel to the city of Uruk. It is at this point that Enkidu begins his learning process. He learns through his travels how to eat, how to speak, and how to wear clothes. He is going from an animal to a man. At this point of the story, I did not think very highly of Shamhat and felt that she had seduced poor Enkidu and took him away from the ones he considered family.Evolution is the gradual development of something into a more complex or better form. The main characters in this epic begin to evolve after their fateful meeting. Both of their lives will be forever changed.As Enkidu approaches, Gilgamesh has two dreams. He goes to his mother, Ninsun, for the interpretation of hisdreams. She informs him that a great force is coming to Uruk and that he will embrace it like a wife. Gilgamesh isis declaring his right to a virgin bride and Enkidu arrives to stop the invasion of the sacred event. Of course,Gilgamesh is so outdone that someone would dare to go against him. This ultimately leads to a battle betweenthe mighty men. They battle for hours until Gilgamesh overthrows Enkidu. The two brothers embrace and thismeeting leads to changes in the personality and manhood of Gilgamesh. He continues to evolve throughout the epic.Although Gilgamesh has found a companion, he still seeks fame and glory. These two team up to kill Humbaba of the cedar forest. Gilgamesh is determined to make a name for himself, even if it means death. Enkidu is at first afraid. Gilgamesh encourages him to be a mighty force with him. When they capture Humbaba, it is Enkidu who encourages Gilgamesh to kill him. When they return to Uruk, they are hailed as heroes. Gilgamesh who was once feared, is now honored. The man who was once hated...

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