Friendship in the Epic of Gilgamesh

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In the epic of Gilgamesh the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu is very complex and necessary. Their friendship brings animal, human, and god together. Gilgamesh is changed by his friendship with Enkidu. He becomes a better person and a better ruler because of Enkidu. Enkidu’s life is enriched because of his friendship with Gilgamesh. Enkidu was created to balance out Gilgamesh, and he accomplishes this goal. The two men are very close, and love each other deeply. Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu benefit from their friendship. Some of Gilgamesh’s qualities are that he had a “beauty… surpassing all others” and was “two thirds… god and one third man” (13). Before Enkidu, Gilgamesh acted horribly. He was a terrible ruler and a terrible man. Gilgamesh was not all good, for example, “his lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble…” (13). He was a terrible ruler. Gilgamesh was arrogant, but very powerful in his country. His people had no choice but to listen to him. They were forced to go along with his unlawfulness and stubbornness. Enkidu was created to be Gilgamesh’s equal and his soul mate. ‘“You made him… now create his equal; let it be as like him as his own reflection, his second self, stormy heart for stormy heart’” (14). So the goddess of creation, Aruru “dipped her hands in water and pinched off clay, she let it fall in the wilderness” and created Enkidu (14). Before Gilgamesh had met Enkidu he loved him; ‘“… I bent down, deeply drawn towards… [Enkidu]… I loved it like a woman and wore it at my side”’ (16). Enkidu had “virtue in him” (14). He was also “innocent of mankind” (14). After Enkidu was civilized the wild animals would not be near him. He felt ... ... middle of paper ... will miss the friendship he had with Enkidu. This is another reason he mourns Enkidu’s death. Both Enkidu and Gilgamesh benefited from their friendship. They each got a friend, and they each gained wisdom. Enkidu gained wisdom in knowing the finer things in life. Gilgamesh gained wisdom in knowing that he would be punished when he died; he wants a second chance at life. Gilgamesh shows Enkidu the finer things, and Enkidu shows Gilgamesh that he will be punished in his death. These are the reasons that their friendship was a good thing. This topic in Gilgamesh is one of the most controversial ones, but Gilgamesh and Enkidu both gained a friend and wisdom that they did not have before. Without this friendship neither would be the changed people they are at the end of their lives. Gilgamesh and Enkidu needed each other, even if they did not know it.

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