The Development Of Enkidu In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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Cole and Ortega’s The Thinking Past is a book that covers the history of humans and civilization. The authors cover the transition of humans from a hunter-gatherer life into a sedentary life, forming the civilizations we know today. This transition can be witnessed through the character, Enkidu, in The Epic of Gilgamesh. Enkidu—a glorified forager—is created by the gods to keep the King of Uruk, Gilgamesh, in check. Enkidu is forced into civilization after being disowned by nature for sleeping with Shamhat. We see him transformed from a wild beast into a civilized person. As we follow Enkidu’s transformation, we see how he changes for the better, but also experiences some downfalls. The transition was not smooth, it took time to fully adjust, and although there are many disadvantages of leaving the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, the benefits made it worthwhile. Through Enkidu’s exposure to Gilgamesh, he changes from a human that lives among nature, to this great warrior that is willing to kill beasts for no other reason, but glory. In the beginning off The Epic of Gilgamesh Enkidu is practically a wild animal. He is so in-tune with nature that “with the gazelles he grazes on grasses, joining the throng with the game at the water-hole, his heart delighting with the beasts in the water” (Gilgamesh 5). Not only was Enkidu living as an animal amongst the animals, but he enjoyed his lifestyle. Having only seen a hunter a couple times, he lacked human interaction, so he was content
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