Gilgamesh could be considered a bad king at the beginning of the epic because he uses his office to bully others and to abuse his citizens. He requires all of the new brides to sleep with him before they are allowed to sleep with their husbands. He threatens and physically…
These attributes soften Gilgamesh and they become fast friends. Gilgamesh lives to conquer, preferably in the limelight so everyone can see his strength. As he matures throughout the story, this tendency fades as he becomes aware of the mortality of all living things. The three themes weave together to add flow to the epic poem.
3. Enkidu is the foil for Gilgamesh because he does not esteem worldly riches or favor. He does appreciate the advantages of civilization, having once been a wild man, but he does not seek for self-aggrandizement as does Gilgamesh. Where Gilgamesh is brazen, Enkidu is cautious and humble. The ultimate foil provided by Enkidu is his death in opposition to Gilgamesh’s seemingly indestructible nature.
4. Gilgamesh encounters stone scorpions and a ferryman on his quest to obtain immortality. He is also challenged to stay awake for seven days and six nights. To varying degrees, Gilgamesh fails to overcome each of these obstacles.
5. Gilgamesh’s destruction of the ferryman’s boat is typical behavior for him. He is used to just shouting and bullying to get his way. In the process, he destroys the very thing he needs to accomplish his quest. He seems like the type of character that is given to taking action before he thinks through all of the consequences of the action.
6. The gods took council against the humans they destroyed because their service no longer pleased them. Humans were created to serve the gods and do their will, but the gods were not appeased. They regretted their council after they destroyed all the living things of the earth except Utnapishtim, his wife and all the animals, gold, silver etc. Luckily one of the gods told the walls of Utnapistim’s house (not actually the human) that he should build a huge boat to hold all of these things because a flood was coming.
7. Gilgamesh fails to stay awake in paradise for six days and seven nights. He also fails to eat the magical plant that he retrieved ...
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