What are the differences between the gods of Gilgamesh and the ones in Homer's Iliad?

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Similarities abound between the gods of The Iliad and the gods of The Epic of Gilgamesh. They are both polytheistic pantheons who, from time to time, mingle in human affairs. Gilgamesh himself is the product of a union between a goddess and a mortal man, the same as Achilles. Both pantheons are given to pettiness and sometimes seem to fight among themselves. The Greek gods are certainly more active, involving themselves directly in the war.

One huge difference between the two pantheons is Enkidu—Gilgamesh’s rival turned best friend. Enkidu is a wild man created by the goddess Aruru to answer the prayers of the people of Uruk, who said that Gilgamesh, their king, treated them too harshly. There is no character to compare to Enkidu in The Iliad—a direct creation of an immortal with the soul purpose of making the world a better place. The Greek gods in The Iliad use their powers to change the tide of the war and help their favorites heroes, but they are rarely seen answering prayers for...

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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on November 27, 2019