The Epic Of Gilgamesh Poem Essay

1808 words - 7 pages

In the epic poem titled The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh was a king who ruled over the Sumerian city of Uruk around 2600 B.C. Gilgamesh was a very powerful and strong king, but he realized that he must use his power to help the people of Uruk. He is two-thirds god and one third human, which makes him realize that he must reconcile with the fact that he will eventually face death. He realizes that he will not reach full immortality and needs to be satisfied with his responsibilities over his people. Gilgamesh is able to reach a balance between being a king, god and man by accepting his mortality and his duties over his people of Uruk.
As a king, Gilgamesh went through a change. Gilgamesh built the city of Uruk with outstanding inner and outer walls. He also built temples for the god of the heavens and for the goddess of war and love. He also made sure he made beautiful fields and ponds throughout Uruk. Gilgamesh starts out as a mean and very powerful king. “The young men of Uruk he harries without warrant, Gilgamesh lets no son go free to his father. By day and by night his tyranny grows harsher, Gilgamesh, [the guide of the teeming people!]” ( Epic of Gilgamesh 3). Gilgamesh uses his power as king to sacrifice his own warriors when he wants to fight, without even hesitating to change his mind. He is criticized 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 changed Gilgamesh as a king, it also changed him as a man. Gilgamesh has humanlike qualities because he has selfish indulges in his appetites which is lusting with woman whenever he wants to or feels like it. “For the goddess of weddings the bed was laid out, Gilgamesh met with the maiden by night, forward came (Enkidu), he stood in the street, blocking the path of Gilgemesh” (16). Before Enkidu and Gilgamesh declared their friendship Gilgamesh had a problem with lusting with women. He did not care who the women were he just wanted them to fulfill his appetites. Since Enkidu changed the way Gilgamesh thought and acted, he no longer lusted with women. Being one third human allows Gilgamesh to show his motions when he wants to express them. Throughout the epic Gilgamesh and Enkidu go on a journey together which allows them to conquer their quest. The death of Enkidu breaks Gilgamesh. “Hear me, O young men, hear [me!] Hear me, O elders [of teeming Uruk,] hear me! I shall weep for Enkidu, my friend, like a hired mourner-woman I shall bitterly wail” (64). Gilgamesh is so upset about the death of Enkidu that he wants to proclaim his grief. The death of Enkidu makes Gilgamesh...

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