Epic of Gilgamesh Essay example

Submitted By CWaters2014
Words: 868
Pages: 4

ENG 200 – 12:00 MW
January 23, 2012
Epic of Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh was based on two men from two polar opposite backgrounds coming together and building an unbreakable bond. The key characters, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, evolved in to totally different men than the men they were in the beginning of the story. Every obstacle they faced, even if it was individually, affected not only the character’s moral but the friendship between them, whether it was negative or positive. This ancient Sumerian poem stressed the importance of self-evaluation, friendships, and overcoming obstacles through its stirring scheme. From the discovery of Enkidu to Gilgamesh’s fight with Enkidu, it was clear the author wanted to point the importance of self-evaluation. After being seduced by a harlot, Enkidu’s manly instincts caused him to fall to temptation to her seduction which allowed him to abandon his forest family of animals, forcing them to renounce him as one of their own. Enkidu was hurt by losing his family yet it helped him discover the man he could be. Gilgamesh had the potential to be a great ruler but he was inexorable and tactless in ruling the city Uruk. Gilgamesh raped and demoralized their women, sacrificed his soldiers in sudden frenzies of rage, and unlawfully seized property from the citizens. The citizens cried out to the Gods for mercy and to end his reign of terror, which was ultimately the reason why Enkidu sought out to stop him once he received news of his harsh treatments. After the fierce battle between Gilgamesh and Enkidu, their friendship flourished and from then on, Gilgamesh wasn’t so harsh on his subjects and Enkidu wasn’t so wild and barbaric. Both men needed that lesson in humility to help them realize their faults, how to fix them, and ultimately better themselves. Even though the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu was not brought about in the best way, it was better late than never. Gilgamesh’s friendship to Enkidu made him a more likable ruler, instead of terrorizing the people of Uruk; Gilgamesh sought on more positive adventures with Enkidu. Enkidu as well, the once thought to be half animal half male was now a man. Enkidu became civilized and able to conduct himself as a normal person in public thanks to his friendship with the prostitute. It was clear these friendships transformed the men’s characters, but one could also question to what extent did Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s friendship succeeded. Gilgamesh yearned for a companion yet he was not married, he clearly did not seek companionship in women based on how he treated them. Was his relationship with Gilgamesh something more than a brotherly bond? Gilgamesh refused to let others in the past close to him, what was so different about Enkidu? During those times, it was not uncommon for men to have “more than just a friend” relationships with other men. Armies would force the soldiers to participate in sexual acts to build camaraderie and trust amongst the men, and considering Gilgamesh’s background of being a leader and a warrior, it would not be surprising if Gilgamesh developed stronger feelings for Enkidu than just a brother would. Regardless of what kind of relationship they had, these friendships were purposefully placed in order for both men to overcome each obstacle they faced. The Epic of…