The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

1106 Words5 Pages
The struggle for women to play an important role in history can be traced from the ancient Mesopotamians to the 1900’s. There has been a continuous battle for women to gain equal rights and to be treated equally in all aspects of life. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest recorded account of the roles of women and their importance in a functional society. Women have been viewed as anything from goddesses to unwanted servants throughout history, regardless of a variety of changes in rulers, religions, and simply time periods. The Epic of Gilgamesh might lead one to consider the roles of women a small and insignificant part compared to the man 's role. In fact, three women; Shamhat, Ishtar, and Siduri, were able to create and maintain a civilized Mesopotamian society with using their uniqueness of their body, mind, and spirit. In the Epic of Gilgamesh Shamat is the temple prostitute, she is not considered to be a main character in the epic, but she still delivers a powerful message in her short appearance (shmoop). Gilgamesh sends Shamat to the wilderness to tame the man, who will later be introduced as Enkidu, Shamat uses her body to transform a wild beast into a civilized man (Role of Women). A women’s body is perceived as a transformation platform; the anatomy of the body is able to do a task that is incomparable to any task a hero can perform for another man (Role of Women). Shamat is called to for help by Gilgamesh, but it is a “notorious trapper” who initially requests her assistance: “ Go set off to Uruk,/ tell Gilgamesh of this Man of Might/ he will give you the harlot Shamat (Epic of Gilgamesh 61+). The apparent fact that a trapper, who spends the majority of his life in the wilderness, knows of such a woman is an exampl... ... middle of paper ... ... to be won through Gilgamesh, while he does not reach his goals, women reach theirs through sexuality. The women are successful through their sexuality by strengthening women’s roles in this story. Each of the women use their sexuality in different ways and some uses are more accepted than others. The female citizens of Uruk, Shamhat, Ishtar, and Sirduri promote balance and provide wisdom that contributes to the great strides Gilgamesh and Enkidu make on their journey. Women have had to prove to man that they are the reason for a society to thrive. The women of Uruk prove that sexuality moves the figures in the culture of Mesopotamia to growth and progression. The Epic of Gilgamesh gives prime examples of the power of women. The power to control men with their body, mind, and spirit is the true example of how women are capable of maintaining a functional society.

More about The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

Open Document