What is the significance and role of the dreams of Enkidu just before his death, and why is Gilgamesh so afraid after Enkidu's death?

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Dreams are very important as prophecy in the Epic of Gilgamesh . Gilgamesh has a dream that foretold the coming of Enkidu, and he dreamed again portending the the defeat of Huwawa. After Enkidu was injured by the Bull of Heaven, he had a dream that the council of the...

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Dreams are very important as prophecy in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh has a dream that foretold the coming of Enkidu, and he dreamed again portending the the defeat of Huwawa. After Enkidu was injured by the Bull of Heaven, he had a dream that the council of the Gods was discussing him and said he must die for his role in defeating the Bull of Heaven. Then he had several other dreams of his impending death before he died. The fact that he had several dreams about his death heightens its importance and makes clear the fact that his death was not a natural consequence of injuries, but rather a punishment from the gods.

Although Gilgamesh is truly grieved by the enormity of the death of his only true friend, I believe that his great fear comes from the fear of his own mortality. Up till now, in his life, Gilgamesh has always been able to overcome everything. He was stronger than everyone else and had more energy than everyone else, so the death of others did not effect him. He did not think "since they die, maybe I will die too." The death of Enkidu changed that. Enkidu was as strong and as energetic as Gilgamesh. Enkidu's death brought Gilgamesh face to face with his own mortality, and he found he was scared of death. It was the first time Gilgamesh ever feared anything. This fear he felt was universal: we all feel it, but most men are used to that fear overlaying their everyday lives. Gilgamesh had never felt fear before, so for him it brought about an extreme reaction. He was afraid to die, so he would find out how not to die. This fear causes his extreme reactions and sends him on the quest for immortality.

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Enkidu has been created by a goddess to be a moral check on Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is half-immortal, created by the goddess Aruru.

In the beginning of the epic, Gilgamesh is acting quite badly, to say the least. The people cry out for help; the gods hear them and tell the goddess: "you made him, O Aruru, now create his equal; let it be as like him as his own reflection, his second self, stormy heart for stormy heart. Let them contend together and leave Uruk in quiet."

Enkidu acts as both interpreter of dreams and as an oracle. He interprets a dream of a wild bull for Gilgamesh in Part 2, telling him that they will soon face peril but will be delivered. He is correct. Gilgamesh comes to rely on Ekindu more and more.

But then Ekindu has a dream after they have killed the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba. His dream predicts that because of their actions, one of the two must die.

His dream proves true. Enkidu is killed. Gilgamesh feels adrift without the moral compass of Enkidu

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