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Fighting for Friendship in the Epic "Gilgamesh" Essay

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The epic of Gilgamesh opens with the people of Uruk unhappy about Gilgamesh's behavior. He sends all boys off to war and no virgin is left to her groom because Gilgamesh must have them first. The people appeal to the gods and Aruru, goddess of creation, fashions Enkidu. Her intentions are to create someone who can resist Gilgamesh, although Enkidu first acts as a wild beast grazing in the fields and protecting the other animals. A harlot is called for to civilize Enkidu and after sleeping with her he realizes he is forever changed and now must go to fulfill his destiny. He travels to Uruk to challenge Gilgamesh. Although Gilgamesh wins, he is forever changed and gains a true friend. What is the meaning of the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu for an understanding of the epic Gilgamesh?

When Enkidu is found eating, living with, and protecting the wild beast, the hunter sends his son to Gilgamesh to send a harlot. Both men understand the power of a "woman's art" and know this will civilize the wild beast, Enkidu. When Enkidu sees her naked he comes to her and takes her; yet a...


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