How does Gilgamesh make demands of Enkidu?How does Enkidu make sacrifices for Gilgamesh when given these demands? ...and what grief/pain does Gilgamesh have to bear as a result of those sacrifices...

How does Gilgamesh make demands of Enkidu?

How does Enkidu make sacrifices for Gilgamesh when given these demands?
...and what grief/pain does Gilgamesh have to bear as a result of those sacrifices made by Enkidu?

Expert Answers
sfwriter eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first time Gilgamesh and Enkidu meet -- they have a fight!  They start out as adversaries, but soon become friends.  They are on a journey together; Enkidu is becoming less animal and more human, and Gilgamesh is becoming less godlike and more human.  Theirs is a story of friendship and transformation.  They have slain Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven together.  They are true friends.  I'm not sure what you mean by "these demands" but Enkidu protects Gilgamesh, in this passage about the Bull of Heaven:

Enkidu, to protect his friend,
Found strength.  He lunged from side to side
Watching for his hance to seize the horns.
The bull frothed in its rage at this dance
And suddenly Enkidu seized its tale
And twisted it around, until the bull
Stood still, bewildered, out of breath,
And then Enkidu plunged his sword behind its horns
Into the nape of the bull's neck, and it fell dead (Gilgamesh 45).

Later, after Enkidu dies of his illness, because it was decreed by the gods that one of them must die, Gilgamesh undertakes his harrowing journey to the underworld.  He goes through the mountains of Mashu, twelve leagues of darkness, and then fights a pride of lions, and has to talk his way into the gates of hell.  When Gilgamesh is given the opportunity for eternal life, for himself and ostensibly for Enkidu, he is beaten by his human frailty and the tricks of the gods every time.  He learns that he cannot live forever, therefore Enkidu cannot be brought back to life.  It is a tale of a great man coming to terms with his mortality.

Source: Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrative, Herbert Mason, trans.  New York: Mentor, 1970,