The Prologue establishes Gilgamesh's stature as the special creation of the gods: he is the son of a goddess and a human and thus partly divine. The strongest and wisest of all humans, he is also the renowned builder and king of the great city of Uruk. The Prologue sets the story in the distant past, in "the days before the flood" (1.61), when Gilgamesh himself etched the whole story in stone.
1. The Coming of Enkidu
Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, is the strongest of all men, but he is a harsh and unkind ruler. The people of Uruk describe his abuses to Anu, god of Uruk, who asks Aruru, goddess of creation, to create an equal or ''second self'' (1.62) to oppose Gilgamesh and leave them at peace. Aruru creates Enkidu out of the raw stuff of nature. Enkidu is a fearfully strong, uncultured "wild man" with long hair and coarse features who runs with the beasts and eats grass. A trapper sees Enkidu at a watering hole, and tells his father about the wild man who disrupts his snares. The father advises the son to tell Gilgamesh about the wild man. Gilgamesh gives him a temple courtesan to tame the wild man. The woman embraces Enkidu, cleans and clothes him, and teaches him civilized behavior. When Enkidu is brought to Uruk, Gilgamesh puts off his pending marriage to Ishtar, the goddess of love, and meets Enkidu, who has challenged him, in the street. They fight, and after Gilgamesh throws Enkidu, they embrace and become friends....
(The entire section is 1323 words.)
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