Bulls In Gilgamesh Essay

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Oftentimes, bulls are depicted as important creatures in many cultures. The ancient Sumerian culture is no different. In Gilgamesh, a Sumerian epic, wild bull imagery recurs throughout the story and accompanies many major events. The wild bull imagery is a symbol for hostility, masculinity, and power, as it is used to describe aggression, males, and destruction. First, the use of wild bulls implies that the characters are very masculine. When the story describes Gilgamesh, a male character, he is said to be as terrifying and as “strong as a savage bull” (4). The story calls Gilgamesh a bull, as he is known to be a strong and powerful king of Uruk. The story also relates Humbaba to a noble wild bull (10). Like Gilgamesh, he is known to be strong and powerful. In addition, he is also known to be a fierce monster. These traits tend to be characteristics affiliated with men. When the story describes a female character, like Ninsun, on the other hand, she is said to be “as strong as a wild ox in the byre” (6). The fact …show more content…

During the fight between Enkidu and Gilgamesh, they wrestled and held each other like bulls (6). When Enkidu and Gilgamesh first meet, they fight each other to show off their strength. Another instance is in Gilgamesh’s dream when he grabs hold of a wild bull. The bull responds by kicking up dust, seizing his arm, and biting his tongue (9). Even though this conflict is in a dream, the aggression between Gilgamesh and the bull can be seen. This dream also hints at Gilgamesh’s fight with Humbaba. In this fight, Humbaba inhales like a wild bull and “turned full of threatenings” (10). As Humbaba is the guard of the cedar forest, it is his job to protect it. Thus, when Gilgamesh and Enkidu come to defeat him and cut down a tree, he must be aggressive and try to kill them. The use of wild bulls to describe conflicts help depict their aggression and hostility toward each

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