The Epic of Gilgamesh Questions and Answers

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What aspects of friendship are seen in The Epic of Gilgamesh and how do we see them reflected in Sumerian culture?

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The friendship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh in The Epic of Gilgamesh reveals much about the role of friendship in Sumerian society: a true friend is a most precious commodity and is even more precious than the relationship between a man and a woman. The problem Gilgamesh faces at the beginning of the story is that he has no equal. There is no one to share his energy, strength, and adventures with who can keep up with him, so he is a terrible ruler, working and adventuring his people to death. Then he meets Enkidu, who is his physical equal. Like in many great stories, they become friends by first fighting and then, when neither can win, they become friends. This friendship becomes all encompassing for Gilgamesh. I am not so sure the friendship changes his moral values; he still wants adventures and glory, but he no longer has to use his people as pawns, because he has a partner in Gilgamesh. This fact makes life much easier for the People of Uruk.

The friendship with Enkidu is important...

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