The Characters Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh

The Characters Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh

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The Characters Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh

"Aruru molded out of clay in the image and 'of the essence of Anu', the sky god, and of Ninurta the war god named Enkidu" ( "His whole body was shaggy with hair, he was furnished with tresses like a woman, his locks of hair grew like grain. Enkidu was the bull-man (a human with horns, tail, and rear hooves of a bull). In the Akkadian Gilgamesh Epic, Enkidu is said to have lived with gazelles and jostled other wild beasts at the watering place, until civilized by Aruru's harlot. After being with the harlot for six days and seven nights Enkidu wanted to return to the wild beast, but they fled from him. "You have become wise Enkidu, you have become like a god" (

"Enkidu is gradually introduced to civilization by living for a time with a group of shepherds, who teach him how to tend flocks, how to eat, how to speak properly, and how to wear clothes. Enkidu then enters the city of Uruk during a great celebration. Gilgamesh, as the king, claims the right to be the first with every new bride on the day of her wedding; as Enkidu enters the city, Gilgamesh is about to claim that right. Infuriated at this abuse, Enkidu stands in front of the door of the marital chamber and blocks Gilgamesh's way. They fight furiously until Gilgamesh wins the upper hand; Enkidu concedes Gilgamesh's superiority and the two embrace and become devoted friends" (

"Enkidu was the companion of Gilgamesh, and a wild or natural man" ( "Because Gilgamesh was too energetic for the people of Uruk, the gods decide to create a partner for him. Later he was considered a patron or god of animals" (

"Gilgamesh proposes a great adventure: they are to journey to the great Cedar Forest in southern Iran and cut down all the cedar trees" ( "To do this, they will need to kill the Guardian of the Cedar Forest, the great demon, Humbaba the Terrible. Enkidu was extremely terrified they were headed to the dark forest to hunt Humbaba" (

"Unlike Gilgamesh, Enkidu had seen this brutal monster before, he warned Gilgamesh, "Oh my lord you do not know this monster and that is the reason you are not afraid. His teeth are dragon fangs, his countence is like a lion, his charge is like a flood, and with a look he crushes alike the trees of the forest and the reeds of the swamp.

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Enkidu was ready go back home, but something in Gilgamesh's eyes kept him there. During the battle Gilgamesh lost his courage and Enkidu thought all was lost when all of a sudden a burst of energy rose up in him. He helped the lord regain his strength and together they put the final blow to the monsters heart" (Enkidu's Journey To Death (T) (LinguaMoo) on GOOGLE (

"Enkidu is vengefully killed by the goddess Ishtar when Gilgamesh rejects her advances. Gilgamesh seeks eternal life because of Enkidu's death" (

Works Cited:

Britannica Keyed, Kenneth Sublett,, Hohenwald, TennesseeOn Line Babylonia. This material is keyed to links to the Britannica On Line Edition for a coherent outline of the events recorded in the Ancient Near Eastern Texts.

Lawall, Sarah The Norton Anthology World Masterpieces Seventh Edition Volume 1

W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. Copyright 1984

Enkidu's Journey To Death (T) (LinguaMoo) on GOOGLE http://www.
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