The Epic Of Gilgamesh, The Goddess Of Love And Fertility Essays

The Epic Of Gilgamesh, The Goddess Of Love And Fertility Essays

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Women in The Epic of Gilgamesh plays a very significant role. Women were not considered as the most powerful gods nor the strongest or wisest of all humans but they still had great influence over others around them, at that time of Mesopotamia. Though the main characters of the story, Gilgamesh and Enkidu were men, women did not necessarily play a minor role. The roles of women in The Epic of Gilgamesh were mixed. Women are represented as harlots (Shamhat), wise (Ninsun) and as gods (Ishtar. In the epic of Gilgamesh, it can be seen that while men were considered to be the most powerful and wisest humans and gods, women had the power to significantly influence these men. Several women mentioned and described in the Epic of Gilgamesh carried roles that had important effects on the men they encountered. One woman I found very interesting is Ishtar, the goddess of love and fertility. I will discuss how women were being portrayed in the story using her character to support my analysis and how the creators of this epic portrayed women in Mesopotamia through this character.
Ishtar 's role in the Epic of Gilgamesh was a very powerful one in which she manipulated both men and gods to get what she wanted, in one way or another. The name goddess normally would represent a majestic and noble woman of power. Ishtar however, is portrayed as the complete opposite in The Epic of Gilgamesh. She is portrayed as one who uses the characteristics of a prostitute to lure in the man that she wants, which at the time is Enkidu. Ishtar is told “make your breasts bare, have no shame. Let him see you naked, let him possess your body” (Sandars, 3), “she was not ashamed to take him, she made herself naked and welcomed his eagerness” (Sandars, 4). The story ta...

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...t time, especially for women, and for men who did not treat people well. It can be said that the Mesopotamians achieved a certain degree of control and management on their society but naturally at the expense of women, ordinary citizens and slaves. Overall, it is quite evident that The Epic of Gilgamesh has a great deal to say about women. It highlights the importance of being domesticated and leading a domesticated life and it speaks for all those who have domesticated lives, mainly women, as they are the ones that hold their homes together. Though men cannot be ruled out due to their vital actions in family life, and their importance as Gods, husbands, and humans in general throughout The Epic of Gilgamesh and in Mesopotamian times, it needs to be emphasized that women should have had an equal status then, just as women today should have an equal status.

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