Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh Essay

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Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh

In this paper, I seek to explore the identities and relationships between Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the epic poem of Gilgamesh, up through Enkidu’s death. I will explore the gender identity of each independently and then in relation to each other, and how their gender identity influences that relationship. I will also explore other aspects of their identity and how they came to their identities as well, through theories such as social conditioning. I will investigate the possibility that Gilgamesh and Enkidu enjoy a homosexual relationship, since modern times allow such investigations which only 20 years ago were considered extemporaneous to ancient texts by traditions western
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This admiration so early in the story of a man who is obviously morally corrupt open up the possibility that he may at some point in the story change into something else. That change will come greatly as a result of a man in the story named Enkidu, who the gods create to be the equal of Gilgamesh and to stop his tyranny.

Unlike Gilgamesh who seems to come out of civilization from the start of the poem, Enkidu comes from nature and the wild. “Enkidu ate grass in the hills with the gazelle and lurked with wild beasts at the water holes; he had joy of the water with the herds of wild game.” (19, Norton; “Gilgamesh”). It is also obvious in the poem that the gods create Enkidu as well in order to balance Gilgamesh. After a while however, a trapper finds Enkidu, which is a kind of bridge between civilized life in the city and wild life in nature. The trapper the goes to tell Gilgamesh of the one he saw who seems to be as strong and of the same genesis as Gilgamesh himself. Gilgamesh then orders that a harlot to be sent to change Enkidu in a way such that “…the game of the wilderness will surely reject him.” (20, Norton; “Gilgamesh”). This is the first proof we have for Enkidu that he does have sex with women, as they spend time together in the woods. After this, Enkidu grows week and he beasts run from him. “Enkidu was grown weak, for wisdom was in him, and the thoughts of a man were in his heart.” (20, Norton; “Gilgamesh”). Also interesting here is the fact

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