Theme Of Gilgamesh

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This essay is a response to the first tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh from the Standard Akkadian version, translated into English by Maureen Gallery Kovacs, along with a version translated by Andrew George. Beyond the introduction, the dramatis personae of the epic are introduced – Gilgamesh, demigod and King of Uruk behaves badly to his citizens, and in response they call for goddess Aruru to create a counterpart equally matched in characteristics – Enkidu, the archaic man, is then brought into civilization to contest and accompany Gilgamesh, and bring peace to the people of Uruk. The goal of this paper is to respond the underlying themes present in the first part of the epic, in relation to the characters of Enkidu, Gilgamesh and their relationship…show more content…
Here, Sex is described between the two versions as “the work of a woman”, (SB I 185) not only as carriers and creators of life but in this case “humanizers and acculturators” (Abusch. EOG p. 617), bringing Enkidu into civilization through the act. Keeping in mind of later events in the epic, women are portrayed as transitive entities and the providers of reason in the lives of men, perhaps indicating long-standing or perceived archetypical gender roles and behaviours of the wise woman and the macho man, whose natural characteristics of caring eclipses the abrupt life of the hunt. The act of sex in itself does not serve to acculturate, considering a previous line that describes the…show more content…
In the Akkadian version, Kilner (1979) discusses that there is possible word-play in the use of language puns: kisru “ball” which is generally understood as “meteorite”, and hassinu “axe”, possibly a mistranslation of the word assinu “male prostitute”, counterpart to kezertu “female prostitute”. - With both versions previously describing Enkidu of having “hair like a woman” and being created equal in all aspects (including impulse) to Gilgamesh, along with the puns in the earliest compiled version found could allude to the development of a relationship that grows beyond platonic or “the often suspected, much discussed but of late rejected sexual relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu”. In summary, Gilgamesh is depicted as a ruler of accomplishments but with flaws, flaws that are brought to realization, or diverted to his equivalent. Enkidu, the innocence of nature, is seduced and encultured to the civilized world, elevated beyond beasts. With the construction of the wall of Uruk, Gilgamesh seeks immortality – at first physically but after in recount, as recorded on lapis lazuli, the adventure of the two companions, which is prefaced in the narrative introduction of the first

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