Epic of Gilgamesh, Eve, and Pandora from Hesiod's Works and Days

Essay by ostrich939University, Bachelor'sB, December 2003

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Three of our readings have involved women, and while their roles were quite different there was a central role that the women played. The women play the role of temptress, through them hardship, death, and evil enter the world. There are certain patriarchal views that are present in each other the three stories.

The harlot plays the role of the temptress in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The harlot was sent to civilize Enkido, so that he could become friends with Gilgamesh. The harlot acted first as Enkido's lover so that Enkido will no longer be accepted by the animals:

"When the gazelle saw him, they bolted away; when the wild creatures saw him they fled. Enkido would have followed, but his body was bound as though with a cord, his knees gave way when he started to run, his swiftness was gone... Enkido was grown weak, for wisdom was in him, and the thoughts of a man were in his heart."

(Epic of Gilgamesh 65)

The reason for why Enkido had grown weak parallels that of the fall of man from the Genesis story. Now that Enkido has wisdom, he must work, and be like other men. The fall is not as great for Enkido as it is for the man and woman in the Genesis story. Enkido protected shepards before he met Gilgamesh, but he liked doing watching out for them. Gilgamesh and Enkido when united hunt, protect the city, and enjoy themselves greatly knowing that no one can hurt them because they are extremely strong.

The harlot civilized Enkido before he met Gilgamesh. She clothed him, and taught him how to eat bread and drink wine. When Enkido is on his deathbed he curses the harlot for this: "As for you, woman, with...