Animal Life In Gilgamesh

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Is Enkidu’s life better before or after he leaves animal life and enters the human world? In the story Gilgamesh translated by N. K. Sandars, Gilgamesh is the main character and the king of Uruk. The gods think he is too powerful, so they make is equal and name him Enkidu. The gods let Enkidu loose in the forest, and he lives among the animals for most of his life. He is like a wild beast until a harlot comes along and seduces him. After six days with the harlot, Enkidu realizes he lost his strength. The harlot gets him to join civilization, so he becomes a normal human. He is treated like a royal until Gilgamesh defeats him in battle. After that Gilgamesh and Enkidu become friends and fight in battles together until Enkidu suddenly dies. Gilgamesh does not want the same fate, so he goes looking for eternal life but dies anyway. Enkidu “must die in shame” and not a “man who falls in battle” when he lives in the human world (Gilgamesh 28). Enkidu is better staying in the forest among the animals because he is stronger and at peace with the animals, even though he becomes more intelligent and civilized when he joins the human world. The human world is far more educated and civilized than living among the animals. All you really have to do among animals is find food and know how to run fast. With humans, you need to be able to speak, eat properly, think intelligently, wear clothes, and hunt animals to be able to be considered a citizen. Although animals have more freedom than

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