The Epic of Gilgamesh


Word Count: 661

The main character in the
book The Epic of Gilgamesh, is Gilgamesh himself. In the
beginning of the book one realizes that Gilgamesh is an
arrogant person. Gilgamesh is full of himself and abuses his
rights as king. He has sexual intercourse with the virgins of
his town and acts as though he is a god. Although some
readers of this classic book may say that Gilgamesh does
not change from the beginning of the book, it can easily be
interpreted the other way. Throughout the book, many things
cause Gilgamesh to change. He gains a friend, he makes a
name for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries to become
immortal because of the death of Enkidu. Through these
main actions his personality changes and he becomes a
better person. First, the quest for immortality after the death
of Enkidu shows that Gilgamesh has changed. Gilgamesh
becomes frightened when he realizes that he isn’t immortal.
After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh tries to find immortality
by trying to cross the ocean to find it. He sounds pathetic as
he rambles of his reason for trying to find everlasting life. His
state of being at this part in the book, which is the end, is
completely different from his arrogant beginning of this epic.
Gilgamesh has gone from arrogant to scared. Second, the
death of Humbaba changes Gilgamesh. Humbaba is evil.
Many people who live in the city of Uruk fear Gilgamesh.
Most would say that Gilgamesh himself is, in fact, evil. He
has sex with the virgins, he does what he wants, and he
tends to offend the gods. He has lots of problems with
Ishtar. By going into the forest and facing Humbaba,
Gilgamesh makes a name for himself and changes the views
of the people in his city. This is a very arguable point. Yes,
the past of Gilgamesh does not change, but the great deed of
killing Humbaba, makes him a better person because he
protects his city. This is another arguable point. Most would
say he does this only to make a name for himself, but that is
not the case. Gilgamesh does this because of his love for
Enkidu and his people, he has changed from the beginning of
the epic. Finally and most importantly, the main reason that
Gilgamesh changes from the beginning of the book is the
friendship that he has with Enkidu. Enkidu is made to make
Gilgamesh more human. In the first paragraph of the book
the gods are angry with Gilgamesh and send down an equal
of himself, they send down Enkidu. After becoming friends,
Gilgamesh changes because he has an equal to be with.
Enkidu and Gilgamesh become as close as brothers.
Because of this, a very arguable point comes up. Was
Enkidu and Gilgamesh lovers? The answer is obviously yes.
What points in the book show this? They go to sleep holding
hands, Gilgamesh loves Enkidu like a women, and
Gilgamesh goes almost insane after the death of Enkidu. The
point of Enkidu being a lover of Gilgamesh is very important.
It allows the reader to understand the reasoning of
Gilgamesh changing. There are no changes in Gilgamesh as a
person until Enkidu enters the picture. Obviously he is the
reason for all eventual changes in the personality and
manhood of Gilgamesh. If the belief and understanding of
Gilgamesh and Enkidu being much more than “good” friends
is present, then the understanding of why Gilgamesh changes
in the book is also present. If Gilgamesh is just friends with
Enkidu some change is possible, but not almost total recall
as Gilgamesh does in the book. People change more if there
is sex involved and there is a deep relationship. In order to
make Enkidu happy, Gilgamesh has to change, and he does,
throughout thier relationship. In reflection, although some
people would say that Gilgamesh does not change from the
beginning of the book The Epic of Gilgamesh, the better
understanding of the book reveals that, in fact, Gilgamesh
does change from the beginning of the book to the end. The
personality of Gilgamesh changes for three distinct reasons.
First, Gilgamesh changes in the book because of his
insatiable desire for immortality after the death of Enkidu.
Gilgamesh wants immortality after the death of Enkidu.
Second, Gilgamesh changes in the book because of the
death of Humbaba. The death of Humbaba show