Roles Of Women In The Iliad And Gilgamesh

Improved Essays
beginning of the epic, the King is seen as selfish and can even Pamela Witkowski
Dr. Asma Sayed
COMP 102 (AS05)
6 October 2014
Roles of Women in The Iliad and Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh is the epic about a powerful King named Gilgamesh who searches for immortality after his best friend, Enkidu, is killed. At the beginning of the epic, the King is seen as selfish and can even be considered a cruel authoritarian leader; his people are not happy with him in power. The journey he forgoes is to look for the plant of immortality, and he has to learn to deal with eventual mortal death. The Iliad is the epic occurring during a part of the Trojan war. Helen of Troy is captured by Paris and is the reason for the start of the Trojan war. The roles of women
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Women gave moral guidance and support, and they are the representation of life as well as the source of reproduction.Many of the important female roles in the ancient societies were Goddesses, specifically in Gilgamesh with Aruru, goddess of creation who forms Enkidu from clay,Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, Shamhat, the temple-prostitute who brings Enkidu into civilization, Siduri, the one who gives Gilgamesh life advice, and Ninsun, Gilgamesh’s mother who Gilgamesh looks up to. In Gilgamesh women only have a minor role, but they have a major influence of everything that happens. In The Iliad the society is much more dominated by males. In both The Iliad and Gilgamesh, …show more content…
At the beginning of the epic,Aruru, the goddess of creation is insisted on creating another being from clay—this is an overlap to the bible. She creates Enkidu, a half-beast man living in the wild who is later seduced for seven days by the temple-prostitute, Shamhat. After the seven days are over, Enkidu is brought into the civilized society and is introduced to Gilgamesh. They stand equal against one another, and after a duel in which they come to a tie; they become best friends, almost seen as lovers. Now that it seems since Enkidu has come into the picture, he is like a permanent substitute to women for Gilgamesh. In Louise Westling’s article where she tells us of women in Gilgamesh, it is stated that Ninsun, Gilgamesh’s mother, informs Gilgamesh of the arrival of Enkidu and she knows of their eventual relationship. Gilgamesh seems to brush off the idea of having a female companion, instead Enkidu is put into the place of the women for Gilgamesh. However, there are other crucial female roles in the epic. Shamhat, for example, was the one who brought Enkidu into the civilized world. She tamed him and made him fit into society as a

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