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The Ever-Changing Gilgamesh
The main character in the book The Epic of Gilgamesh, is Gilgamesh himself. In the beginning of the book one realizes that Gilgamesh is an arrogant person. Gilgamesh is full of himself and abuses his rights as king. He has sexual intercourse with the virgins of his town and acts as though he is a god. Throughout the story, many things cause Gilgamesh to change. He gains a friend, he makes a name for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries to become immortal because of the death of Enkidu. Through these main actions his personality changes and he becomes a better person.
The quest for immortality after the death of Enkidu is the first sign that Gilgamesh has changed. Gilgamesh becomes frightened when he realizes that he isn’t immortal. After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh tries to find immortality by trying to cross the ocean to find it. He sounds pathetic as he rambles of his reason for trying to find everlasting life. His state of being at this part in the book, which is the end, is completely different from his arrogant beginning of this epic. Gilgamesh has gone from arrogant to scared.
The death of Humbaba also changes Gilgamesh. Humbaba is evil. Many people who live in the city of Uruk fear Gilgamesh. Most would say that Gilgamesh himself is, in fact, evil. He has sex with the virgins, he does what he wants, and he tends to offend the gods. He has lots of problems with Ishtar. By going into the forest and facing Humbaba, Gilgamesh makes a name for himself and changes the views of the people in his city. This is a very arguable point. The great deed of killing Humbaba, makes him a better person because he protects his city. Although it could be argued that Gilgamesh kills Humbaba only to make a name for himself, this not the case. Gilgamesh does this because of his love for Enkidu and his people, he has changed from the beginning of the epic.
The main factor contributing to the changes in Gilgamesh the love that develops with Enkidu. Enkidu is made to make Gilgamesh more human. In the first paragraph of the book the gods are angry with Gilgamesh and send down an equal of himself, they send down Enkidu. After becoming friends, Gilgamesh changes because he has an equal to be with.
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