In the Epic of Gilgamesh, when Enkidu is introduced, is he as fully human as he is later in the Epic?

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samson98 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Enkidu is introduced in theĀ Epic of Gilgamesh, he is not fully human. In fact, he is half-man, half-beast. He lives among the animals and helps them escape from traps laid by humans. He also has superhuman speed. The hunters complain about Enkidu to Gilgamesh, and he advises them to take a prostitute (or priestess, depending on your translation) to him. The prostitute tempts Enkidu, and he lays with her and partakes of human food. Once he has engaged in these human actions, he finds he can no longer run as fast as the beasts; Enkidu has become fully human. The prostitute clothes him and takes him to Uruk, where he meets Gilgamesh and eventually becomes his lifelong companion. The two have several glorious adventures (such as slaying the monster Humbaba), but Enkidu sadly meets an untimely death.