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Selfish Character Of Gilgamesh

Decent Essays
Stephen Mitchell describes how the characters are portrayed and how they change in the book. As a king in Gilgamesh, the main character, Gilgamesh represents tyranny and egocentrism. Even though Gilgamesh rarely cares for his people, he always had a series of demands that they must fulfill for him. His reputation of invincibility had allow him to abuse his power as king and do whatever he wants that satisfies his desires. Although Gilgamesh originally was a ferocious and selfish character, his encounter with Enkidu had helped him grow into a mature man. Gilgamesh is introduced as a physically attractive ruler who caused immeasurable suffering for his people by establishing oppressive laws. According to Mitchell (2004), “[The king] takes the son from his father and crushes him, takes the girl from her mother and uses her, the warrior’s daughter, the young man’s bride, he uses her” (72). Due to his absolute power, Gilgamesh acts irrationally in stealing the virginity of all young women by commanding them to present themselves as a prize to him at any moment. Regardless of what others think, Gilgamesh forces his people to commit acts against their will because he only makes decisions that benefits himself. When the people of Uruk cannot stand his cruelty anymore, they pled to the gods in heaven to stop Gilgamesh and his selfish ambitions. Their complaints had a major impact on the gods when they cried out “Should a shepherd savage his own flock?” (Mitchell, 73). Gilgamesh
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