Gilgamesh is an epic that has been passed down for thousands of years. The epic
narrates the legendary deeds of the main character Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is
two-thirds immortal and one-third mortal; however, he cannot accept his fate
that one day he too will die. The entire epic tells the story of Gilgamesh’s
life and searche for immortality. Through his many trials and tribulations,
Gilgamesh proves that he has great physical strength. However, throughout the
epic Gilgamesh also shows he is emotionally unstable and immature. The author
created Gilgamesh with this flaw of immaturity so that he would be a more
believable character. The depth of Gilgamesh’s physical strength first appears
to the reader in the prologue. Gilgamesh is said to be “the man to whom all
things are known”. The gods created him with great care giving him beauty
and courage. “The great gods made his beauty perfect, surpassing all
others, terrifying like a great wild bull”. Furthermore, his beauty and
power were like that of no other man. The story begins by stating that Gilgamesh
is an overbearing king. He never sleeps due to his over indulgence in life.
Gilgamesh keeps the city in disruption involving anyone he pleases in his
corrupt demands. He sleeps with all the virgins before they are married,
therefore, making them impure before their husbands have a chance to sleep with
them. If Gilgamesh were a mature king, he would see no reason to show he is the
most powerful. He would lead his people with only good intentions and rule the
land justly. Even though Gilgamesh demonstrates great physical strength in
defeating Humbaba and by killing the Bull of Heaven, his emotional strength is
put to the test when Enkidu, his companion, dies. Gilgamesh wants everyone and
everything to mourn his death. He could not accept Enkidu’s death. “Seven
days and seven nights he wept for Enkidu, until the worm fastened on him”.
His irrational actions prove Gilgamesh is emotionally unstable and immature.
Another example of Gilgamesh’s immaturity is his infatuation with immortality.
He abandons his normal way of life, leaves Uruk, and begins a new life as a hunt
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.