Was Enkidu Better Off In The Animal World

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The Life of Enkidu (Essay 1) In the story of Gilgamesh, Enkidu plays a pivotal role, which leads me to ask the question: was Enkidu better off in the animal world or the civilized world? Enkidu had a very interesting life. He did not mature like the average person, but then again, he was not created by average people. He was sculpted by the gods. He was created with the sole purpose of interaction with the great Gilgamesh, making his maturity inevitable. Whether this maturity was bound to happen or not, I believe, based on the events of Enkidu’s life, that he was better off in the animal world than in the civilized world.
Understanding Enkidu’s creation is important to showing how he was better off in the animal world: “noble Enkidu was created.
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The noble savage was originally an idea proposed by Jean-Jacques Rosseau in 1762. “Noble Savage” is a term that refers to a wild man or beast that has yet to be corrupted by civilization. The narrator tells us, “He was innocent of mankind; he knew nothing of the cultivated land.” (Gilgamesh, pg. 13) Enkidu was created with no negativities. He was simply a strong animal free to roam as he pleased. Sadly, his maturing was inevitable, but while he lived his days in the wild, he had a care-free, natural life. He grazed in the hills and he ran with the animals. It was his home and it was how Enkidu was naturally free; he was bound by no rules or laws. A hunter witnessed Enkidu in the wild and described how he interacted with his surroundings: “He fills in the pits which I dig and tears up my traps set for the game; he helps the beasts to escape and now they slip through my fingers.” (Gilgamesh, pg.14) In this passage the reader can see how Enkidu is not just a part of the animal world, but he acts as a guardian for his beastly companions. This proves how Enkidu’s life is pretty nice as an animal. He lives free of society’s hardships and judgements. Again, Enkidu is very much like the noble savage. He is virtuous in his acts as the world has yet to taint his being. I think evidence will show that his civilized life only hurts who Enkidu really…show more content…
Ishtar set the Bull of Heaven loose on Uruk as a punishment, but thanks to the keen intuition of Enkidu, Gilgamesh was able to kill the bull. While Enkidu had not been physically hurt by his experiences with Gilgamesh, the worst was still ahead. The gods took counsel together and concluded that Enkidu must die to pay for the deaths of Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven. Enkidu cursed those who caused his life in the wild to be ruined. First he cursed the trapper and wished that all his quarry escape him. Then, he cursed the harlot: “As for you, woman, with a great curse I curse you! I will promise you a destiny to all eternity. My curse shall come on you soon and sudden” (Gilgamesh, pg. 27). Enkidu wished the absolute worst of lives upon the harlot. Shamash, confused by this, asked, “Enkidu, why are you cursing the woman, the mistress who taught you to eat bread fit for gods and drink wine of kings?” (Gilgamesh, pg. 27). Enkidu took back his curse but he still meant it; his devotion to Gilgamesh made him thank the harlot for allowing him this companion, but Enkidu was still disappointed with what his new life had given him. Enkidu was deceived into thinking he’d found a companion and caring friend. Whether Enkidu really loved Gilgamesh or not does not matter because Gilgamesh was a terrible friend either way. Gilgamesh had put Enkidu in danger, chose not to listen to him, and ultimately (after Enkidu
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