The Epic of Gilgamesh Questions and Answers

The Epic of Gilgamesh book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Was Enkidu better off in his original savage state or as a civilized man?

Expert Answers info

Dolly Doyle eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseLibrarian


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,159 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

This question is extremely subjective and can only be answered on an individual by individual basis. However, one must examine the sort of life Enkidu lead before he was "civilized."

Enkidu lived without need of luxury in the woods. He was in harmony with the animals, who saw him as one of their own rather than as a threat. He never had to worry about money, social situations (and the headache-inducing drama they can induce), or caring for others. His life seems to have been idyllic, but also lonely.

It is interesting that Enkidu is brought to civilization through sex with a woman and I think the image of sexual union gives us a clue as to what being human means in the context of The Epic of Gilgamesh . The sex is about more than just a good time or even creating more life. It is a bonding experience. To be human is to be a part of human society, a larger framework than oneself. To be human is to love...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 489 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

JOHN THORBURN eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write608 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial