Gilgamesh Research Paper

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“Because they slew the Bull of Heaven, and slew Humbaba…Let Enkidu die” (The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet VII.23). In the epic poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu is suffering the punishment of death for slaying Humbaba and the bull because the Sumerian culture used an eye for an eye justice system. The Sumerian culture greatly relied on their law to keep the citizens and people in order. When Gilgamesh hears about Enkidu’s approaching death, he takes immediate action and tries to make Enkidu be remembered and make his journey in the netherworld safe. Enkidu was not only a friend and brother to Gilgamesh, but a mentor. He gave helpful advice to Gilgamesh, which made him a better leader and person. However, when Enkidu was dying Gilgamesh says nothing to the gods to stop his death. Gilgamesh, a king, demigod, and friend, reveals that he values a retributive justice and his power as a king based on his actions.…show more content…
For instance, Gilgamesh says to Enkidu, “On this very day I myself shall mourn for you!” (Tablet VIII.41). Gilgamesh accepts Enkidu’s death, and the punishment that must come from the Sumerian law. Gilgamesh doesn’t question the law, since he didn’t do anything in his power to talk to the gods and try and stop Enkidu’s death. Instead of trying to stop Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh makes his journey in death, the netherworld, safer. “He butchered fattened [oxen] and sheep, piled them high for his friend…they carried all the meat to the rulers of the underworld” (Tablet VIII.131). Since, Gilgamesh is a demigod this gives him the ability to provide Enkidu gifts and food to offer to the rulers of the netherworld. Enkidu’s journey and stay in the netherworld is a lot worse if not for Gilgamesh. Although Gilgamesh and Enkidu were essentially brothers, Gilgamesh still will not save Enkidu’s life and accepts the integrity of the

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