Women's Power In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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Unimportant or Powerful In a book about the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft stated, “I do not wish [women] to have power over men; but over themselves” (GoodReads). Women may often get overlooked or be seen irrelevant, but in reality, women do have power. They may not have the power over men, or over other people, but in The Epic of Gilgamesh, the readers see examples of how women obtain their own power. Gilgamesh, the main character of the epic, is two-thirds divine. He gets that divinity and knowledge from his mother Ninsun, not a father. As well as having a prominent woman in his family life, he sees the power of Ishtar. She is a goddess and shows off the power she has when she becomes tempered. Also, a harlot in the epic has the power…show more content…
Although she is being used in some ways, she plays an important part in the epic because of how she evolves Enkidu. During the part when she is being instructed on what to do the trapper states to her that she must “uncover [herself] and lie with him; teach him, the savage man, the woman’s art” (Sandars 15). The temple prostitute does as the trapper told her. Enkidu spends six days and seven nights with her and afterwards “the wild beasts that shared his life in the hills will reject [Enkidu]” (Sandars 15). After the hills and forests reject Enkidu, he goes to Uruk to find Gilgamesh as the harlot told him to do. Everything after this point falls into place and Enkidu and Gilgamesh become the dynamic duo of the epic. In conclusion, the women in Gilgamesh are overlooked, but they hold a lot of power. The harlot, or temple prostitute, has the power to civilize Enkidu. When Ishtar becomes angry with Gilgamesh, she has the power to send down the Bull of Heaven upon Gilgamesh and his city. Lastly, Gilgamesh’s mother, Ninsun, is powerful because she grants her son divinity and interprets his dreams. All throughout time, women have been overlooked of the power that they truly
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