The Friendship Between Gilgamesh And Enkidu Essay

1071 Words Sep 26th, 2014 5 Pages
The friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu is a central part of The Epic of Gilgamesh. Similarly, the friendship between Achilles and Patroclus is a central part of Homer’s The Iliad. Gilgamesh and Achilles both mourn for the loss of their friend, but they have different ways of coping. The friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu has a positive impact on both men, whereas the friendship between Achilles and Patroclus is one-sided. After Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh takes an internal journey by learning how to cope with his own impending death. Ultimately, Gilgamesh is more affected by the loss of his friend Enkidu than Achilles is by the loss of Patroclus. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh is distraught and mourns for the death of his friend in conventional ways. Gilgamesh’s mourning is genuine and he does not attempt to harm other people in response to Enkidu’s death. Almost immediately after Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh begins aimlessly roaming the steppe. Gilgamesh laments, “Shall I not die too? Am I not like Enkidu? / Oh woe has entered my vitals! / I have grown afraid of death, so I roam the steppe.” (3-5). Enkidu’s death makes Gilgamesh more aware of his own mortality. He is so distraught that he begins wandering around aimlessly in the steppe, which Enkidu was from. Gilgamesh mourns Enkidu formally by leaving town to mourn privately and then mourning for himself. In contrast, Achilles’ mourning for the death of Patroclus is more destructive than beneficial. After Achilles…

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