The Evolution of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story told for thousands of years. The people of Uruk narrate the tale of the main
character, Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh has the body of a god and strength no one could ever compete with. He is two-third
god,one-third man, and the king of Uruk. He is very immature. It makes one wonder how he was ever appointed the king of this city. Gilgamesh is also arrogant, selfish, and disrespectful. He kills sons and has sex with all the virgins, leaving them impure for their future husbands. Gilgamesh is forceful and he answers to no one.
The people of Uruk cry out to the gods for help because Gilgamesh is destroying the city with his actions. The sky
god, Anu, hears the pleas of the citizens of Uruk and decides to do something about his behavior. He creates his
counterpart, Enkidu, who will match Gilgamesh's strength.
Enkidu is a wild man. He runs with animals and is their protector against humans. The temple harlot, Shamhat, goes
to the watering hole where all the animals gather. She offers herself to him and he remains with her for six days and seven nights. This is when Enkidu crosses into manhood. He loses his strength and his ability to run with the animals. The animals shun him. Enkidu then leaves with Shamhat to travel to the city of Uruk. It is at this point that Enkidu begins his learning process. He learns through his travels how to eat, how to speak, and how to wear clothes. He is going from an animal to a man. At this point of the story, I did not think very highly of Shamhat and felt that she had seduced poor Enkidu and took him away from the ones...