Women In The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

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The Portrayal of Women in The Epic of Gilgamesh It is widely known that throughout history woman have not been treated equally as men. Some traces of this even show up in our everyday lives. The Epic of Gilgamesh entails the epic journeys of a godly Sumerian king’s search for power, and his fruitless efforts to become immortal. Ancient Sumer was one of the world’s first sedentary populations, and was a model of societal success for years to come. Unfortunately, as with many great ancient civilizations, there were great gender biases and women were cast out of the forefront of society. From reading The Epic of Gilgamesh, one can clearly conclude that women were generally seen as unimportant, and even evil. But in some occasions throughout the…show more content…
Throughout the book, there are mentions of the numerous girls that Gilgamesh has raped. As shown in the first page, “His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble” (62). But perhaps the most striking example of women being objectified is when Gilgamesh commands a harlot to sexually please Enkidu, in order to civilize him. She is commanded to strip naked when he approaches at the watering hole and tempt him with her beauty, so that he will be rejected by the wild beasts thereafter. “Make your breasts bare, have no shame, do not delay but welcome his love. When he comes near uncover yourself and lie with him” (64). When Enkidu sees the harlot lying availably at the watering hole, he is overcome by her beauty and begins to sexually engage with her. They then make love for six days and seven nights, and once he was satisfied, he went back to the wild beasts. To put that into terms, a woman is commanded by a man to have sex with a another man, and the woman is therefore his personal sex toy and will continue that status until the man she was commanded to pleasure is satisfied. From this passage it is evident that women were at the command of men, and that women were seen merely as sex

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