The Transformation Of Enkidu And Gilgamesh

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Gilgamesh starts out as an immature, cruel and emotionally stunted character. He is described as “young” and “borne along by emotion” by the elders of the city of Uruk before embarking on a foolhardy and dangerous mission (II 289). Enkidu was created by the gods to be “the equal of Gilgamesh, one mighty in strength” (MB Ni, pg. 4). Both Enkidu and Gilgamesh grow as characters; doors represent transitions and mark key points where both characters mature. At these points they are put on the path towards discovering what they should do with their lives and how they should approach the concept of death. These transitions come in various forms, such as Enkidu stopping Gilgamesh’s ruthlessness by physically blocking him, Enkidu coming to terms with his certain death by disavowing a cedar door, or Gilgamesh being questioned at the gates of Mashu by the scorpion-people guardians. However, in all cases, either one or both of the protagonists must reflect on their current state of moral development.
One of the most significant ways that Gilgamesh matures is by becoming a “good” king. This process begins right before the two heroes fight in Tablet II, demonstrated through the following narrative description: “Enkidu with his foot blocked the door of the wedding house, not allowing Gilgamesh to enter” (II 111-112). By physically preventing Gilgamesh from entering the house and taking advantage of a bride, Enkidu shows that he is equal in strength to the king, and fulfills his initial

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