Change in the Character of Gilgamesh Essay

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There once lived a king, the great king of Uruk in Mesopotamia. This great leader was Gilgamesh. His preserved epic is of great significance to modern day culture. Through Gilgamesh, the fate of mankind is revealed, and the inevitable factor of change is expressed. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, it is a great love, followed by a lingering grief that cause a significant change in the character of Gilgamesh.

Before the coming of Enkidu, Gilgamesh was a man of pure power. A being of which there was no equal match, Gilgamesh boasted upon his overwhelming glory and power. This arrogance was accompanied with an extensive abuse of power, which led the city of Uruk into a state of injustice and rage. "His arrogance has no bounds by day or
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Upon the seal of this great friendship, Gilgamesh began to change his selfish ways. He shared with Enkidu the luxuries of kingship. Shamash, speaking to Enkidu, said, "He (Gilgamesh) has made the princes of the earth kiss your feet, and now all the people of Uruk lament and wail over you"(91). Setting aside his great pride and power, Gilgamesh had opened a place in his heart, and in his sumptuous life, for his beloved brother.

The second significant change in Gilgamesh was caused by the loss of his brotherly companion, Enkidu. Gilgamesh couldn't bear the loss of a love so powerful. Despite his astonishing power and leadership, something in his life was missing. He wept for seven days and seven nights, in hope of bringing Enkidu back to him. Gilgamesh said, "I thought my friend would come back because of my weeping. Since he went, my life is nothing". It is in this stage of the epic that we see the truly sympathetic and compassionate side of Gilgamesh. The grief in his heart had far surpassed the magnificent pride that he had previously displayed so boldly.

Enkidu's death left Gilgamesh frightened and confused. The despair in his heart was so great that he could not rest; would he ever be at peace? He became terrified of his own death. Puzzled and searching for answers, Gilgamesh set out on a quest for Utnapishtim. It is on this great journey that Gilgamesh learns of a
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