In The Epic of Gilgamesh, what does Endiku teach Gilgamesh?

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The most important lesson that Enkidu teaches Gilgamesh is the value of humility. At the beginning of The Epic of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk is described as a tyrannical ruler, with some versions of the story going so far as to say that he partook of prime nocte rights with the city’s women. The goddess Aruru, answering the prayers of the people, molded Enkidu from clay and water, and put him in the forest where he grew into his own as a wild man. Later, Enkidu becomes somewhat domesticated by sleeping with the temple prostitute Shamhat. It is described as a loving relationship, although Enkidu loses touch with his animal brethren.

Already, Enkidu and Gilgamesh have been established as diametric foils. Enkidu is a literal force of good coming from the wilderness, tamed with love. Gilgamesh is a tyrannical demigod ruling over his city with indifference. When Enkidu first confronts Gilgamesh, the king is on the way to sleep with a new bride before her husband does. Enkidu wrestles him to...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 5, 2019