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Message of Love in the Epic of Gilgamesh

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The Message of Love in Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh is an epic of great love, followed by lingering grief that causes a significant change in character. It is the story of a person who is feared and honored, a person who loves and hates, a person who wins and loses and a person who lives life. Gilgamesh's journey is larger than life, yet ends so commonly with death. Through Gilgamesh, the fate of mankind is revealed, and the inevitable factor of change is expressed.

Before the coming of Enkidu, Gilgamesh was a man of great power. A being for which there was no equal match, Gilgamesh boasted about his overwhelming glory and power. However, his arrogance was accompanied with an extensive abuse of power, which pushed the city of Uruk into a state of rage. Still Gilgamesh felt no despair; he lived to display to others his majestic power. The first sign of a sincere change in Gilgamesh arises as a result of the birth of Enkidu. From the beginning, a powerful link developed between man and woman. The wise Ninsun said to Gilgamesh,"You will love him as a woman and he will never forsake you". Gilgamesh had finally met his match, a friend that would serve as his life-long companion. Upon the seal of this great friendship, Gilgamesh began to change his selfish ways. Nevertheless, he shared with Enkidu the luxuries of kindness. Setting aside his great pride and power, Gilgamesh had opened a place in his heart, and in his sumptuous life, for his beloved brother.

The second significant change in Gilgamesh was caused by the loss of his brotherly companion, Enkidu. Gilgamesh couln't bear the loss of a love so powerful. Despite his astonishing power and leadership, something in his life was missing. Moreover, he wept for seven days and nights, thinking his friend would come back because of his weeping. It is in this stage of the epic that one can see the truly sympathetic and compassionate side of Gilgamesh. The grief in his heart had far surpassed the magnificent pride that he had previously displayed so boldly. Enkidu's death left Gilgamesh frightened and confused. However, the despair in his heart was so great that he could not rest; would he ever be at peace? Thus, he became terrified of his own death.

After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh tries to find immortality by trying to cross the ocean to find it.
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