The Epic of Gilgamesh – Story about Old Babylonian Hero King of Uruk and his Escapades

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The discovery of the story was made in the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh by a man called Hormuzd Rassam in the year 1853 (Jastrow and Clay 10). The Gilgamesh’s parents were a goddess and a priest-king, respectively. His mother was the goddess Ninsun and his father was the Lugaalbanda priest-king. The story about Gilgamesh was much loved within Mesopotamia which portrayed the life of a young energetic and handsome man who liked challenging his fellow men into combat fights. However, the indecent character of the young king prompted the citizens of Uruk to beg their God known as Anu to bring him to order. The intervention was made through Enkidu, a man who challenged the king into combat fight and later became good friends. Their friendship later shaped the king into being a good person. After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh made so many adventures which were culminated by the wisdom offered by the women while he was seeking for immortality (Tomko). The story is an inclusion of the different roles and influences that women had on the king based on his various interactions. Subsequently, this means that he would not have achieved of all of his accomplishments without women.

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There is quite a number of female characters that Gilgamesh and Enkidu came across during their adventures, some of them were humans while others were divine. For instance, there are two notable women whose intervention was imperative in the fulfillment of Gilgamesh’s accomplishments. For instance, the priestess known as Shamhat, whose identity was much observed through offering wisdom, is known to have been the solution to the healing of a wild and uncivilized man known as Enkidu. When she made Enkidu a sane man, he moved to the capital of Uruk and encountered the king due to a combat fight. Therefore, Shamhat presents a role that made Enkidu a benevolent force whose role was intended to shape the king (Tomko).

Another woman who plays an important role in Gilgamesh’s life is Shiduri. Shiduri and Gilgamesh met in the wilderness while in search of immortality after the death of Enkidu (Tomko). The goddess was very instrumental in offering wisdom to the king who was in grief. She asked the king to put his anger aside and enjoy all the things he has in his life (Tomko). The two women previously mentioned were so instrumental in the life of the king and he could not have achieved anything without them. However, another woman involved was a destroyer and a fountain of evil known as Ishtar. She is known for the source of all calamities that befell Gilgamesh because when she seduced him, and he refused, she asked the Gods to punish him. The Gods sent Humbaba against Gilgamesh and Enkidu. However, in the end, the Gods were the ones who killed Enkidu (Tomko).

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a tale about various aspects of life to the ancient people of Mesopotamia. The mythical journey by Gilgamesh was intended to restore balance in Uruk. However, the journey is streamlined by the women characters he comes across while on his adventures that made him realize it was not all about him but his people of Uruk. After this realization, Gilagamesh goes back to his people and rules with wisdom and power till his last days.

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The Epic of Gilgamesh - Story About Old Babylonian Hero King of Uruk and His Escapades. (2019, Jun 18). Retrieved March 27, 2023 , from

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