The Epic of Gilgamesh Questions and Answers

The Epic of Gilgamesh book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

Greg Jackson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from University of Massachusetts-Boston


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,666 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

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


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,106 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences






check Approved by eNotes Editorial