Friendship Theme In Gilgamesh Essay

998 words - 4 pages

Friendship Theme in Gilgamesh

True friendship is egalitarian. Everything is shared, loyalty to the friendship is equal, and the basis of the camaraderie is wholly altruistic. The friendship between the king Gilgamesh and the man of the steppe, Enkidu, was not a true and equal friendship. Loyalties and sacrifices to that friendship were disproportionate.

Friendship is conveyed in more than one way in Gilgamesh. The companionship between Enkidu and the animals of the steppe is the first example of friendship. Enkidu lived with the animals, as one of them:

He freed them from the traps / The hunters set. / A hunter’s son one day /
Saw Enkidu opening a trap: / The creature was all covered with hair /
And yet his hands had the dexterity of men’s; / He ran beside the freed gazelle /
Like a brother / And they drank together at a pool / Like two friends /
Sharing some common journey / Not needing to speak but just continue. (p. 16)

Enkidu’s friendship with the animals was one of equivalence. Neither Enkidu nor the animals knew that he was any different from them. Enkidu’s appearance was that of an animal, and he knew nothing of the world of man. In this sense, Enkidu was an animal, not a man. It was only until he slept with a prostitute, shaved his body, and went into a civilized town that he became a man. This companionship between Enkidu and the animals seems more genuine, as it was cultivated over Enkidu’s lifetime on the steppe.

Neither Gilgamesh nor Enkidu had ever had a friend that was a man before. Enkidu knew only of the steppe animals, and Gilgamesh, a tyrannical king, had never treated anyone as his equal. Both men had been informed of the future friendship from the prostitute and Ninsun, respectively. When Gilgamesh heard this premonition from his mother, he was taken aback.

It will be a person, she continued / Speaking in her somber monotone, /
A companion who is your equal / In strength, a person loyal to a friend, /
Who will not forsake you and whom you / Will never wish to leave. /
Gilgamesh was quiet at this interpretation / Of his dream. (p. 19)

Ninsun was right, and the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu was one of great loyalty and trust. The formation of the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu was very abrupt. Upon meeting, they fought fiercely, stopped, and embraced. This pithiness gives an air of ingenuity to the relationship, but that is later shattered by their loyalty to one another in following scenes.

And they were friends: / They had embraced and made their vow /
To stay together always, / No matter what the obstacle. (p. 27)
The most supporting aspect of their companionship was their encouragement to one another. When one of the friends faltered or showed weakness, the other reinforced fearlessness and reminded them of their...

Find Another Essay On Friendship Theme in Gilgamesh

Friendship as a theme in John Knowles "A Separate Peace"

1432 words - 6 pages earnestness is tested. From their experiences it is evident that Gene and Finny, although opposite in personalities, want and need each others friendship to grow as separate individuals.Works Cited: arise, and Gene and Finny struggle and prevail together. One of the many conflicts they face is an internal one, Gene’s state of mind, and his continual envy of Phineas. Gene is jealous of Finny's

Othello and the theme of friendship in the play

1352 words - 5 pages Friendship is a special bond between two or more people. This relationship is built on the basis of trust, loyalty and honesty. In the play Othello, Shakespeare demonstrates these qualities through many of his characters to portray their deep friendships. However as the play progresses these friends turn into foes as many problems occur in their friendships and lead to many tragic events. The negative qualities that tore these friendships apart


286 words - 2 pages Gilgamesh Central Themes - The importance of friendship is shown in this story. Gilgamesh is a king that seems to have everything, but he feels that something is missing. Only when he meets Enkidu that he realizes that friendship filled the void in his life. Another important theme shown in this story is coping with loss. After Enkidu's death, he questions his own life and his wrongdoings, and seeks immortality. He then realizes that the

The Changing Hero: The Epic of Gilgamesh

1042 words - 4 pages named Enkidu; in addition to that, he also makes contact with deities that either supported or threatened him. As these events took place, Gilgamesh was experiencing some major changes to his personality. These events are better known as external factors, and they all had an effect on Gilgamesh in some way. The altering of Gilgamesh’s behavior shows how a hero changes dramatically by external factors, which is a common theme throughout the epic

Athanasia: Human Impermanence and the Journey for Eternal Life in the Epic of Gilgamesh

1030 words - 5 pages life. A journey that so many have traversed, but have failed in the attempt. The ideology surrounding immortality transcends time and a plethora of cultures. The theme, immortality appears in stories from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was composed by ancient Sumerians roughly around 600 B.C, to present day works of fiction in the twenty first century. The word immortality plays a crucial role in the development of characters in the Epic of

Change in the Character of Gilgamesh

655 words - 3 pages in Gilgamesh arises as a result of the birth of Enkidu. From the beginning, a powerful link developed between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The bond was as powerful as that between man and woman. The wise Ninsun said to Gilgamesh, "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. Upon the seal of this great friendship, Gilgamesh began to change

Gilgamesh Is Gay

533 words - 2 pages from the beginning of the book is the friendship that he has with Enkidu. Enkidu is made to make Gilgamesh more human. In the first paragraph of the book the gods are angry with Gilgamesh and send down an equal of himself, they send down Enkidu. After becoming friends, Gilgamesh changes because he has an equal to be with. Enkidu and Gilgamesh become as close as brothers. Because of this, a very arguable point comes up. Was Enkidu and Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh's and Scrooge's Character Changes

624 words - 2 pages works with the goddess Aruru to create a rival for Gilgamesh. This rival, Enkidu, proves to be a challenge for Gilgamesh. Once Enkidu earns Gilgamesh's respect in battle, Gilgamesh accepts Eniku as a friend. This fight between Gilgamesh and Enkidu gives Gilgamesh a small but necessary taste of humility, since he now realizes that he has met his match. More importantly, the friendship that is formed after their battle eases Gilgamesh's lonesomeness

The Epic of Gilgamesh Poem

1808 words - 7 pages by his own people because they want a king who will treat and protect them like a shepherd. They want a king who they can count on to keep them safe from harm. However, Gilgamesh becomes a changed king when he meets Enkidu. “They kissed each other and formed a friendship” (17). Gilgamesh’s friendship with Enkidu has made him calmer and more ambitious to accomplish things for his city that he hasn’t done in the past. Even though, Enkidu

This is an essay written in five paragraph thesis form about the ancient text Gilgamesh

776 words - 3 pages The Gods Had To Punish GilgameshGilgamesh is one of the oldest literary works in the world. The story of Gilgamesh was originally found on twelve stone tablets. In the story, the acts of Gilgamesh do not please the men of Uruk so they complain to the gods that, " A goddess made him, strong as a savage bull, none can withstand his arms. No son is left with his father, for Gilgamesh takes them all; and is this the king, the shepherd of his people

Gilgamesh: Think piece 2 - Ancient world - Think piece

405 words - 2 pages had to learn difficult lessons about his own death and life, while Jesus Christ knew his fate here on Earth. Jesus’s body must die in order for his spirit to rise again. Unlike Gilgamesh, even though he was two thirds part God, he was still mortal. Gilgamesh’s quest was a typical, common theme in mythology and ancient stories. A hero much go on a journey in order to discover who he is. The story of Jesus is one like no other, a God who created humans, took human form, to save all of humanity. (404)

Similar Essays

Friendship In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

1010 words - 5 pages 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

Meaning Of Friendship And Unconditional Love In The Story Of Gilgamesh

574 words - 2 pages In the story of Gilgamesh, the friendship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh is viewed as of that as best friends, soul mates. At the first sight of each other, they were like wolves at each other’s throats. It seemed like Gilgamesh was more upset about this because someone that was so common to him and receiving the same attention as he had been. With this occasion, the two men normally would not have gotten along. This was the first thing that

Theme Of Friendship In Othello Essay

922 words - 4 pages riendship is a special bond between two or more people. This relationship is built on the basis of trust, loyalty and honesty. In the play Othello, Shakespeare demonstrates these qualities through many of his characters to portray their deep friendship. However as the play progresses these friends turn into foes as many problems occur in their friendships and lead to many tragic events. The negative qualities that tore these friendships apart

Theme Of Friendship In Chains By Laurie Halse Anderson

1051 words - 4 pages On July 20, 1958, a doctor by the name of Artemio Bracho contemplated the idea of a World Friendship Day. The World Friendship is a foundation that honors friendship and fellowship among all human beings, regardless of race, color or religion. This day has been recognized in several countries and is used today. Friendship is established on loyalty and being there for your friend in their time of need. In Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, the