He doesn’t eat raw food or walk around naked and dirty like what modern society sees as uncivilized. Rather than outwardly uncivilized, Gilgamesh is uncivilized inward. He fights without true cause and rapes women on their own wedding day. If this was simply the practice of the Mesopotamian culture from the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh wouldn’t be seen as uncivilized in the actual story, but the people under Gilgamesh understand that taking a woman’s virginity before her husband is not a right of the king and is uncivilized. Yet, no one calls him uncivilized when compared to Enkidu. Enkidu is always seen as less civilized than Gilgamesh since he lived in the woods and was more like a wild animal. However, even the wild Enkidu is disgusted at the stories he hears about Gilgamesh and can tell that despite the fact that Enkidu is seen as a wild animal, Gilgamesh is the one who is uncivilized. It’s not till Enkidu dies that Gilgamesh’s “real” uncivility shines through.
Later in the book, Gilgamesh shows his real colors and his uncivilized nature by not bathing, shaving, or changing his clothes. He takes on the aspects of outward uncivility that matches his inside. Since Gilgamesh is not civilized, he doesn’t function as well in or outside of society. When he’s looking for immortality, he relies on his strength and his uncivilized nature rather th...
... middle of paper ...
...d especially during the beginning and only a slight aspect of Gilgamesh later in the story, if at all, could be argued for him becoming more civilized.
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is a rabid and savage individual despite being a king which in modern society would automatically make someone unquestionably just and the symbol of the highest form of civilization. The exception of this would be in a story where the king was either not the main character or possibly the antagonist. Yet, Gilgamesh is not only the protagonist but, while he is uncivilized, he’s not considered an evil king, simply a problematic one. However, he is not civilized and while there are small instances of evidence to suggest that he became a better ruler, there is nothing that shows without a doubt that he’s going to change completely to come a perfect and civilized ruler for his kingdom.
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