Summary: Book V Of Gilgamesh

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INTRODUCTION:

Throughout the scientific community evolution is a widely accepted theory. It explains, in its most simplest form, that over time interactions between an animal and its environment causes a change in its genetic make up. This is significant for humans because this theory of evolution also supports the adjacent idea that humans were once more primitive than we are now. It is believed that we were once more akin to that of apes; something much more animalistic. Some say that this animalistic history can show up in our emotions and our most basic instincts, and when you analyze this idea through the lens of mythology and animal transformation, it can be heavily supported.

ANIMALISM AS A FUNCTION OF EMOTIONS: When one’s emotions
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On their journey Enkidu, frightened, says to the Gilgamesh “Dear friend, I cannot continue, I am frightened, I cannot go on” (118-119). In this portion of the story, it is clear that Enkidu is afraid for his life and does not want to put himself into the life or death fight that would ensue if he continued on. This could be considered to be very trivial. One could make the argument that Enkidu is simply scared and does not want to fight the terrifying beast, but this can also be related back to animalism, especially when you analyze later portions of the …show more content…
Later in the story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, they find the courage to carry on and they encounter their beast. At this point they have provoked the beast, and he threatens to kill them. Following the threat the two know that they must either fight, or be claimed by the beast. They battle the beast and win, but not without some internal struggle. Nearing the end of the battle Gilgamesh finds it hard to kill the beast. The beast begs for mercy, and Gilgamesh seems to find it hard to set aside his empathy long enough to kill him. In this final fight there are two factors supporting the idea that fear made the two men animalistic. To begin with, the flight or fight scenario, causes them to do whatever it takes to make sure they live, which in all animals is a basic instinct. Additionally, the fear of consequence and empathy for the beast causes Gilgamesh to hesitate. This shows that he is human and has morals and emotion, but to slay the beast he must set this aside and ensure that he lives. When Gilgamesh finally slays the beast he pushes away his inhibitions and, in turn, has an internal transformation. He has to transform into a beast in order to kill the

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