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The relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh

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The relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh

The relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh

From the epic, we find out that Gilgamesh is a son of a higher priest-king and a goddess. This makes Gilgamesh half-blood of divine birth. The latter get spoilt enough and grows up to be into something called arrogance. Of course, he did have some ground to make his statement: fair visage, handsomeness, physical power ad dare. He had it all. But he was also selfish, arrogant and never listened to any advice or order from his father. Besides Gilgamesh, the Great Gods, namely Ninhursag-Ki, have made a decision to create a “second” Gilgamesh. "So that rushing winds meet rushing winds" (Zeman), that the two would meet, unite and live in mutual understanding and immense friendship. This is how Enkidu was created. The Great Mother made him nothing like his brother. Enkidu was more like a star fallen down from heaven into the wild. Despite bearing resemblance to Gilgamesh, in character he was totally different. Lacking Gilgamesh’s arrogance, pride, Enkidu was tough and strong – a man of the jungle (Abusch).

Right from the start of the epic, the reader can observe a certain bond between the two. It can almost be read between the lines. They meet, they fight and grow to become real friends. More so, they seem to be complementing each other, filling up the gap that each of them has. Gilgamesh for the first time in his life has met the desire to share something, which allows him to grow further (Wolff). This friendship ad a certain effect upon Gilgamesh. The latter had become more humane, less absorbed within himself, less of a loner. We must say that Gilgamesh as constantly experiencing this feeling of loneliness. However, the extent of longing was something Gilgamesh had not known, until the time he loses Enkidu (Tigay).

Their first meeting was that of great soulmates, the pattern of which was carefully used in all later literature readings. They meet, they fight, they acknowledge each other, befriend each other. Their relationship has a great meaning as Enkidu managed to change and transform Gilgamesh’s character in such a way that the latter was deeply mournful when Enkidu dies – something which would never have happened to him before (Tigay).

In order to have a full understanding of the relationship between the two, the reader must turn to the Inner Sibling concept, our inner self. The Inner Sibling is most often a person whom you can confine the deepest secrets. Sometimes brothers and sisters are inner siblings. In the case of Gilgamesh, Enkidu is his Inner Sibling and Soulmate. He was made to fill in the gaps of creation that were clearly evident to Gilgamesh (Wolff). His bond with Enkidu is formed due to the companionship and multilayerd sibling. Their bond was something special as they never left each other and constantly attempted to keep everyone from fighting. To them, it was no longer needed. They constantly shared everything their thoughts on various opinions, ideas, virtually a single entity except in the form of

Two bodies. To Gilgamesh, apart from being a best friend, the only friend, our best friends. This is clearly mentioned in the epic through the use of the lines: presented in the Epic, and Gilgamesh says literally that Enkidu was "the sword in my belt, the shield for my front" (Zeman).


Works Cited

Abusch, T. The Development and Meaning of the Epic of Gilgamesh: An Interpretive Essay. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 121 (4). 2011. Print

Tigay, Jeffrey H. The evolution of the Gilgamesh epic. Wauconda, Ill: Bolchazy-Carducci, 2002. Print.

Wolff H.N. Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Heroic Life. Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Heroic Life. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 89, (2). 1969. Print.

Zeman, Ludmila. The last quest of Gilgamesh. Montreal, Quebec Plattsburgh, N.Y: Tundra Books Tundra Books of Northern New York. 1995. Print.



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