The Epic of Gilgamesh Questions and Answers

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How would you compare and contrast Enkidu's fall from a state of nature to that experienced by Adam and Eve? To what extent is it meaningful/ distracting to discuss Biblical parallels in analyzing the Epic of Gilgamesh? Why or why not engage in such an exercise?

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Scott David eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are certainly parallels between the story from Genesis and the story from The Epic of Gilgamesh. Both stories are ultimately about the acquisition of knowledge (and the loss of innocence that results). Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, gaining an understanding of good and evil; for this they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Enkidu's story represents his initiation into civilized life. Just as Adam and Eve cannot return to the garden, neither can Enkidu return to his life in the wilderness.

There are key differences as well. Enkidu's transformation primarily impacts himself. He was created outside the bounds of civilization, but he holds no greater responsibility for the larger course of human history. Human civilization has preceded him and it will continue long after his death. The story of Adam and Eve, on the other hand, speaks of the very first human beings created on Earth. Thus, their expulsion from the garden has shaped the lives and experiences of every human...

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