The Epic of Gilgamesh Questions and Answers

The Epic of Gilgamesh book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does this passage from the Epic of Gilgamesh tell us about human relationships and human nature during this period, and what does it tell us about rulers and their relationship with their gods?

Images:
This image has been Flagged as inappropriate Click to unflag
Image (1 of 1)

Expert Answers info

Jonathan Ryan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write170 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

This passage from the Epic of Gilgamesh explores the universal human fear of death. In the passage, Gilgamesh tells his story to an alewife—essentially an ancient version of a bartender—who comments on Gilgamesh’s "wasted cheeks” and “dejected” appearance. In response, Gilgamesh rants about his sadness at the death of his best friend and the sudden realization of his mortality.

The close relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh is evident as Gilgamesh laments his friend’s fate to the alewife. After briefly reminiscing about the time he had spent with Enkidu, Gilgamesh bemoans that something as common as illness, the “fate of mortals,” had killed his friend. In a textbook case of denial, Gilgamesh confides that he refused to allow Enkidu’s body to be buried,

until a worm fell from his nose.

Up until this gruesome moment, Gilgamesh’s friendship with Enkidu provided meaning. With the warmth and comfort of Enkidu’s friendship forever erased, Gilgamesh is left aimless...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 634 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now




check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences


check Approved by eNotes Editorial