The main character in thebook The Epic of Gilgamesh, is Gilgamesh himself. In thebeginning of the book one realizes that Gilgamesh is anarrogant person. Gilgamesh is full of himself and abuses hisrights as king. He has sexual intercourse with the virgins ofhis town and acts as though he is a god. Although somereaders of this classic book may say that Gilgamesh doesnot change from the beginning of the book, it can easily beinterpreted the other way. Throughout the book, many thingscause Gilgamesh to change.
He gains a friend, he makes aname for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries to becomeimmortal because of the death of Enkidu. Through thesemain actions his personality changes and he becomes abetter person. First, the quest for immortality after the deathof Enkidu shows that Gilgamesh has changed. Gilgameshbecomes frightened when he realizes that he isn’t immortal. After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh tries to find immortalityby trying to cross the ocean to find it. He sounds pathetic ashe rambles of his reason for trying to find everlasting life.
Hisstate of being at this part in the book, which is the end, iscompletely different from his arrogant beginning of this epic. Gilgamesh has gone from arrogant to scared. Second, thedeath 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. Hehas sex with the virgins, he does what he wants, and hetends to offend the gods. He has lots of problems withIshtar. By going into the forest and facing Humbaba,Gilgamesh makes a name for himself and changes the viewsof the people in his city. This is a very arguable point. Yes,the past of Gilgamesh does not change, but the great deed ofkilling Humbaba, makes him a better person because heprotects his city.
This is another arguable point. Most wouldsay he does this only to make a name for himself, but that isnot the case. Gilgamesh does this because of his love forEnkidu and his people, he has changed from the beginning ofthe epic. Finally and most importantly, the main reason thatGilgamesh changes from the beginning of the book is thefriendship that he has with Enkidu.
Enkidu is made to makeGilgamesh more human. In the first paragraph of the bookthe gods are angry with Gilgamesh and send down an equalof 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. WasEnkidu and Gilgamesh lovers? The answer is obviously yes.
What points in the book show this? They go to sleep holdinghands, Gilgamesh loves Enkidu like a women, andGilgamesh goes almost insane after the death of Enkidu. Thepoint of Enkidu being a lover of Gilgamesh is very important. It allows the reader to understand the reasoning ofGilgamesh changing. There are no changes in Gilgamesh as aperson until Enkidu enters the picture. Obviously he is thereason for all eventual changes in the personality andmanhood of Gilgamesh.
If the belief and understanding ofGilgamesh and Enkidu being much more than “good” friendsis present, then the understanding of why Gilgamesh changesin the book is also present. If Gilgamesh is just friends withEnkidu some change is possible, but not almost total recallas Gilgamesh does in the book. People change more if thereis sex involved and there is a deep relationship. In order tomake Enkidu happy, Gilgamesh has to change, and he does,throughout thier relationship. In reflection, although somepeople would say that Gilgamesh does not change from thebeginning of the book The Epic of Gilgamesh, the betterunderstanding of the book reveals that, in fact, Gilgameshdoes change from the beginning of the book to the end. Thepersonality of Gilgamesh changes for three distinct reasons.
First, Gilgamesh changes in the book because of hisinsatiable desire for immortality after the death of Enkidu. Gilgamesh wants immortality after the death of Enkidu. Second, Gilgamesh changes in the book because of thedeath of Humbaba. The death of Humbaba show