Role Of Women In Gilgamesh

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The Role of Woman in Gilgamesh The epic Gilgamesh is a story about a man’s quest for immortality and the sadness that comes from realizing you are going to die someday. Gilgamesh believes he is the greatest man alive and that he will live forever. This leads to his inflated ego and also the mistreatment of his people. Enkidu is made by the gods to be a foil to Gilgamesh and to change his behavior so he will treat his people better. While Enkidu does exactly that, the story wouldn’t be able to progress if it wasn’t for the woman in this story. Shamhat the harlot turns Enkidu from a wild man into a civilized person after having sex for “7 days and 7 nights” (Gilgamesh 12; tablet II). And Ninsun the goddess convinces Shamash to send winds to help Enkidu and Gilgamesh when they fight Humbaba. The many women in this story help the heroes and the plot progress through different benchmarks. A woman’s knowledge and insight are vital to keeping any man on track toward his goals, but at the same time, a woman scorned can have serious consequences. To better understand the role of women in this epic, we need to recognize the impact that each female character has on this story. The first woman we meet, Shamhat, is a smart and beautiful woman held in high regard in the city of Uruk. She is a temple priestess/prostitute and her sexuality is the link between civilization and wild that causes Enkidu to become a normal person. Shamhat having sex with Enkidu changes him right away

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