The Epic of Gilgamesh Questions and Answers

The Epic of Gilgamesh book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are the similarities and differences between Enkidu and Gilgamesh in The Epic of Gilgamesh?

Expert Answers info

Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write7,038 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Both Enkidu and Gilgamesh are heroic figures, forming a sort of intermediary class between human and divine. Although they do not have the power and immortality of the gods, they are more powerful than ordinary humans. Gilgamesh is directly descended from the gods, and Enkidu was fashioned by the gods. 

Both are larger and stronger than ordinary mortals and capable of superhuman feats of athletic and martial prowess. Their characters and emotions, whether lust, joy, rage, or sorrow, also have a quality of grandeur. They live a life of grand passions rather than the everyday petty annoyances experienced by most humans (Gilgamesh grieves over the death of his friend instead of being frustrated by rush hour traffic). This grandeur and power make them a potential threat or challenge to the gods, who do not wish to be usurped or treated as equals by mortals and see mortals aspiring to a level of greatness that approaches the divine as a challenge.

Both Enkidu and Gilgamesh have sexual...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 580 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write858 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial