Billy R. NordykeProfessor HillHumanities IThe main character in the book The Epic of Gilgamesh, is Gilgameshhimself. In the beginning of the book one realizes that Gilgamesh is anarrogant 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 isa god. Although some readers of this classic book may say that Gilgamesh doesnot change from the beginning of the book, it can easily be interpreted theother way.Throughout the book, many things cause Gilgamesh to change. Hegains a friend, he makes a name for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries tobecome immortal because of the death of Enkidu. Through these main actions hispersonality changes and he becomes a better person.First, the quest for immortality after the death of Enkidu shows thatGilgamesh has changed. Gilgamesh becomes frightened when he realizes that heisn’t immortal.
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After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh tries to find immortalityby trying to cross the ocean to find it. He sounds pathetic as he rambles ofhis reason for trying to find everlasting life. His state of being at this partin the book, which is the end, is completely different from his arrogantbeginning of this epic. Gilgamesh has gone from arrogant to scared.
Second, the death of Humbaba changes Gilgamesh. Humbaba is evil. Manypeople who live in the city of Uruk fear Gilgamesh. Most would say thatGilgamesh himself is, in fact, evil. He has sex with the virgins, he does whathe 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 himselfand changes the views of the people in his city. This is a very arguable point.Yes, the past of Gilgamesh does not change, but the great deed of killingHumbaba, makes him a better person because he protects his city. This isanother arguable point.
Most would say he does this only to make a name forhimself, but that is not the case. Gilgamesh does this because of his love forEnkidu and his people, he has changed from the beginning of the epic.Finally and most importantly, the main reason that Gilgamesh changesfrom the beginning of the book is the friendship that he has with Enkidu.
Enkidu is made to make Gilgamesh more human. In the first paragraph of the bookthe gods are angry with Gilgamesh and send down an equal of himself, they senddown Enkidu. After becoming friends, Gilgamesh changes because he has an equalto be with. Enkidu and Gilgamesh become as close as brothers. Because of this,a very arguable point comes up.
Was Enkidu and Gilgamesh lovers? The answer isobviously yes. What points in the book show this? They go to sleep holdinghands, Gilgamesh loves Enkidu like a women, and Gilgamesh goes almost insaneafter the death of Enkidu. The point of Enkidu being a lover of Gilgamesh isvery important. It allows the reader to understand the reasoning of Gilgameshchanging. There are no changes in Gilgamesh as a person until Enkidu enters thepicture.
Obviously he is the reason for all eventual changes in the personalityand manhood of Gilgamesh. If the belief and understanding of Gilgamesh andEnkidu being much more than good friends is present, then the understanding ofwhy Gilgamesh changes in the book is also present.If Gilgamesh is justfriends with Enkidu some change is possible, but not almost total recall asGilgamesh does in the book. People change more if there is sex involved andthere is a deep relationship. In order to make Enkidu happy, Gilgamesh has tochange, and he does, throughout thier relationship.In reflection, although some people would say that Gilgamesh does notchange from the beginning of the book The Epic of Gilgamesh, the betterunderstanding of the book reveals that, in fact, Gilgamesh does change from thebeginning of the book to the end.
The personality of Gilgamesh changes forthree distinct reasons. First, Gilgamesh changes in the book because of hisinsatiable desire for immortality after the death of Enkidu. Gilgamesh wantsimmortality after the death of Enkidu. Second, Gilgamesh changes in the bookbecause of the death of Humbaba. The death of Humbaba showCategory: English