Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrative Essay

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Everybody in the world needs a friend. “Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrative” by Herbert Mason is an ancient Babylonian epic about two friends, Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gilgamesh is an oppressive king, and Enkidu is like the king of the animals. The establishment of their powerful friendship plays an avid role in the epic. The confrontation between Gilgamesh and Enkidu serves to introduce the theme of friendship as a humanizing element. Enkidu moves from his primitive state into civilization in order to transform Gilgamesh into a more civilized state through their friendship.
When Enkidu entered Uruk “[the people] hailed him as the equal of their king” (Mason 22). Gilgamesh became angry when Enkidu blocked his way into the Family House, Gilgamesh lunged at Enkidu, and they began to fight like two angry beasts. They fought until they were both weakened and out of breath. "In the silence of the people they began to laugh and clutched each other in their breathless exaltation” (Mason 24). Both men, whom are equally strong, unite their strengths and weaknesses, their courage and fear; they grow together emotionally and physically, Gilgamesh and Enkidu 's bond
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Enkidu is like the “rational” part of the friendship; once he is gone, it is not necessarily his death, but his absence and inability to guide Gilgamesh, which leads Gilgamesh to go off on such an “irrational” quest. When Gilgamesh goes from mourning the death of his friend to mourning his own future death, his feelings for his friend do not diminish. Gilgamesh and Enkidu are so close that, when Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh is basically losing a part of himself. Furthermore, Gilgamesh develops through the loss of Enkidu a greater understanding of the mysteries of life and death and comes to realize that even the most glorious of heroes cannot escape the ultimate fate of mankind, creating for Gilgamesh a new sense of self-awareness and hope that had been previously
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