How Did Gilgamesh Change

1580 Words7 Pages
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the character of Gilgamesh goes through a major change in tablets eight and nine. In this part of the story, Enkidu becomes ill, dies, and Gilgamesh is seen mourning him in a way that completely goes against his actions in the first half of the story. This section of the epic represents an important change in Gilgamesh as he slows down to think of someone other than himself and begins to realize that he too is mortal. Here, Gilgamesh has a change in attitude, goals, and even his journey is affected. Without these changes, Gilgamesh would not have been able to become the person he is at the end of the epic. Before Enkidu falls ill, Gilgamesh is a character full of selfishness, arrogance, and lust. He does what he wants and does not care about the consequences or how his actions affect others. In tablet six, the Goddess Ishtar asks Gilgamesh to marry her. Even though it is never wise to turn down a god, Gilgamesh does. In her anger, Ishtar sends down the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilgamesh, which causes a famine in the land. Gilgamesh’s selfish actions affected everyone in Uruk; all because he did not want to be with Ishtar, he caused a famine in the land of Uruk. Gilgamesh also believes he has a right to be treated…show more content…
He creates an extravagant statue of Enkidu with gems, gold, and copper that must have cost him a fortune just so his friend would never be forgotten. The position Enkidu is casted in, “recline[ing] on the great couch, / … in a position of ease, the seat at the left…” is important because it is a position of honor (99). Since Enkidu had lived in the wilderness for most of his life, never truly living in luxury, Gilgamesh’s portrayal of him in such a luxurious position on a couch is a great honor. On top of that, he placed Enkidu to the left of himself, making him his right-hand man—a symbol of the greatest importance in this time
Open Document