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The Changing Hero: The Epic Of Gilgamesh

1042 words - 4 pages

There are many stories about heroes that change from a bad guy to the good guy. In the ancient story, The Epic of Gilgamesh, details are given to reflect how a hero transforms from a static to dramatic character. The hero of the epic, better known as Gilgamesh, undergoes many experiences as he embarks on a long journey to discover what his purpose is in life. Throughout his adventure, Gilgamesh establishes a friendly relationship with a man 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.
Being a bad influence on society is not a good habit learn, especially for Gilgamesh. At the beginning of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is detailed as the “Lord of Uruk” (Sandars, 62). Commonly you would think the lord would be a respectful person, but for Gilgamesh it was the opposite. The people of Uruk saw their lord as unfair, and all they could think about was “his arrogance” (Sandars, 62). The story describes Gilgamesh as arrogant due to his behavior to not share. An indication of his arrogance is when he desires to keep all “the sons of each father to himself,” and moreover, “even the children” are taken by Gilgamesh (Sandars, 62). His arrogance is also shown when he has a lust for all the women in Uruk. To overcome that, he took the virginity of all the women in Uruk. Gilgamesh clearly left “no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble (Sandars, 62). The arrogance of Gilgamesh not only troubled the Uruk people, but also himself. Fortunately, Gilgamesh gains the ability to overcome his hated personality due to a new friend he meets, Enkidu. Enkidu who once “ate grass in the hills with the gazelle”, converted his animal-based mind to a mind with wisdom and “thoughts of a man” (Sandars, 63-65). He helped Gilgamesh with his predicament when he established a friendship between each other, which allowed Gilgamesh to replace his arrogance with the quality of love. This change of personality from Gilgamesh is shown when they both take “each other by the hand” (Sandars, 74). The event reflects the love that Gilgamesh has developed, and it also shows that Gilgamesh does not care about himself, but also for Enkidu. The transition from an arrogant man to a loving person shows that Enkidu is a factor in changing Gilgamesh’s behavior. In general, a man can be an external factor to the influence of a hero behavior. Although Enkidu is a motive in changing Gilgamesh’s personality, there are other factors that influenced Gilgamesh as well.
The quality of love and friendship are very important in a relationship. As for Gilgamesh, his...

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