Friendship In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

1010 words - 5 pages

Throughout the Epic of Gilgamesh I discovered the importance of friendships. People will always enter and exit your life but it is the true friendships that last. Friendships are present during happy times but are most important through the rough times. It is people that make the friendships. Similarly to Gilgamesh and Enkidu, it seems that people will only find one person that is meant to be their better half. Although Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s friendship took place a long time ago it can still be compared to friendships in modern day.
Before Enkidu’s coming, Gilgamesh was a man of great power, a being for which there was no equal match. Gilgamesh boasted about his overwhelming glory and power, however his arrogance was accompanied with an extensive abuse of power, which pushed the city of Uruk into a state of rage. Still Gilgamesh felt no despair; he lived to display his majestic power to others. From the beginning, a powerful link developed between man and woman. The people of Uruk were tired of Gilgamesh’s arrogance and ruthlessness. They cried out to the gods who then appealed to higher gods such as the creator goddess Aruru. They asked her to “create his (Gilgamesh) equal; let it be as like him as his own reflection, his second self, stormy heart for stormy heart. Let them contend together and leave Uruk in quiet” (Gilgamesh 13). The wise Ninsun, Gilgamesh’s mother, said to him, "You will love him as a woman and he will never forsake you". Gilgamesh had finally met his match, a friend that would serve as his life-long companion. The gods created Enkidu who was half man and half beast to be Gilgamesh’s other half. Upon the seal of this great friendship, Gilgamesh began to change his selfish ways. Nevertheless, he shared with Enkidu the luxuries of kindness. Setting aside his great pride and power, Gilgamesh had opened a place in his heart, and in his grand life, for his beloved brother.
The relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh is the heart of the Sumerian epic. Enkidu and Gilgamesh first meet as enemies and fight each other. It is during this battle that Gilgamesh comes to understand that his thoughts about women and life in general could be wrong. Enkidu and Gilgamesh learn from each other. Enkidu becomes more `civilized' through his friendship with Gilgamesh and Gilgamesh becomes more restrained. When the gods decide to punish Enkidu with death because of the killing of Humbaba, the forest giant, and the Bull of Heaven, Gilgamesh is consumed with grief and won't leave his dying friend's side nor allow him to be buried for six days. Once Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh sets off on his quest for eternal life in order to avoid what he saw Enkidu endure and, perhaps, to reclaim his friend from the netherworld. Gilgamesh feels an enormous abyss after Enkidu's death, and in his grief to the city counselors, he releases his thoughts and feelings about his...

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