The Development Of Human Development In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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Human Development What differentiates a civilized human from a wild one? In The Epic of Gilgamesh by an anonymous Babylonian poet, the protagonist Gilgamesh receives an animal-like companion-- one who stays in the wilderness and lives with animals--as a result of his preeminence in the city of Uruk. Tablet II of the long poem, however, reveals Enkidu the wild man’s transformation from an uncivilized man to someone with human traits and human senses. From making love with a harlot to expressing his fear of Humbaba, the guardian of the Cedar Forest, Enkidu becomes tamed as he loses animalistic traits of being carefree and adapts human emotions such as lust, shame, anger, grief, and fear as well as a sense of justice. In the process of becoming civilized, the first thing Enkidu does is leaving his wildness behind. After his encounter with the harlot Shamhat, Enkidu immediately forms an attachment to this woman. The author writes, “While the two of them together were making love, he forgot the wild where he was born” (II, P: 46-7). Enkidu’s evolution into a civilized man is shown as he forgets about his birthplace after spending only a few nights living and coupling with the harlot. While love and sex are temptations often irresistible to human beings, Enkidu also adapts this human trait of lust. While his abandonment of the wild self is shown through his desertion of his birthplace, it is also revealed through his physical makeover while he enters the city. The author
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