How did Gilgamesh show his arrogance in The Epic of Gilgamesh?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Gilgamesh is certainly prideful and arrogant, particularly at the beginning of the epic. His arrogance is enough for his people to ask the gods to intervene. He sleeps with brides on their wedding day. He makes everyone stand at attention when he passes and do whatever he commands. In short, his arrogance makes him a tyrant with no concern for the rights and well-being of his people.

We even see Gilgamesh's arrogance come into play when he spurns the sexual advances of the goddess Ishtar. He does not just tell her no, though. He launches into a vulgar tirade against the goddess full of insults. His pride leads him to continually insult the gods throughout the epic. After killing the guardian of the forest, Humbaba, Gilgamesh celebrates his victory by destroying the trees themselves. This really gets the gods angry at him.

It is shows of arrogance like these which continually call the gods's wrath down on Gilgamesh. They want to teach him the lesson that he is a mere mortal, albeit a...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 712 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team