Women In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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With all things brought about by the passage of time, change seems to be the one that remains constant. Shown in history, the role of women has completely transformed from in the era of ancient epics to modern day. A product of how the female gender was viewed in this time period, women were not seen as equal to men in any aspect. Fortunately, in modern society women can play any role they want. Depicted in Greek, Hebrew and Mesopotamian texts, women are portrayed in many different ways while however remaining inferior their male counterparts. The Epic of Gilgamesh; while being one of the most well known and studied Mesopotamian texts in history, also raises some questions in the concept of the role of women both divine and human. In this …show more content…
The number of women in the story was minimal and focused on one, however her role was crucial. Eve or the “mother of all living(Genesis 3;line 20)” is the wife of Adam and the first women created. When Adam was not satisfied by the companionship of animals, God put him into a deep sleep and “took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the lord God had taken from the man he made into a women and brought her to the man.(Genesis 2; lines 21-22)” Just the concept of women physically being derived from the bone of a man puts them as lesser beings. This is again shown in the next paragraph by the serpent who prayed on Eve not Adam, suggesting she was the weaker one of the two and it would be easier to manipulate her. After tricking her into eating from the tree of knowledge and sharing it with her husband, it is too late to go back. When God realized they had disobeyed him and opened their eyes to the knowledge of good and evil, Adam is ever so quick to blame it all on his wife claiming “the women whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree and I ate.(Genesis 3; line 12)” The difference between the view of genders in this text is very clear by both the way God and others act towards …show more content…
It can be explained as a hebrew epic starting with how the universe came to be. The story begins with two gods and an unformed world. Apsu, the divine patron of fresh water and his wife Tiamat, the divine patron of salt water unite and create the universe. From the beginning Tiamat is depicted as being a monstrous dragon who gives birth to “peerless and hideous monsters.(lines132-40)” After Apsu is killed by his own son Ea, Ea married and created Marduk, the great warrior. Tiamat then remarried to Kingu and demanded revenge on the divine assembly for her husbands death. Marduk decided to challenge her in exchange for both glory and power in the city and is victorious in killing Tiamat. In this text Tiamat also strays far from the “motherly” notion we see some women in Gilgamesh being portrayed as. She appeared to hold some sort of power in the beginning, but easily lost it at the face of man. Again she is shown in a negative light playing an “evil” role while men such as Marduk are displayed as being glorious and heroic. She was clearly no match for the predominant men in the

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