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Women In Gilgamesh Essay

800 words - 4 pages

The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient story that primarily revolves around the lives of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Throughout their journeys and adventures, they encounter female characters who significantly transform Gilgamesh’s and Enkidu’s lives. The females in this epic, especially Aruru, Shamhat, Ishtar, and Utnapishtim’s wife, influence Gilgamesh and Enkidu through power, annihilation, and sensuality.
Aruru, the creation goddess, plays an extremely crucial role despite her brief appearance because she creates Enkidu out of clay to stop Gilgamesh’s behavior in Uruk. From this action, Aruru portrays a powerful role that all women have by possessing the ability to create new life on Earth. ...view middle of the document...

Initially, Ishtar presents herself as a peaceful goddess. After Gilgamesh kills Humbaba, Ishtar attempts to create an intimate relationship with him. However, Gilgamesh rejects her advances, and she transforms into a destructive goddess. Ishtar attempts to destroy Gilgamesh and Enkidu by summoning the Bull of Heaven on earth. They both manage to defeat the challenge, but not without a sacrifice as Enkidu dies a painful death. From this event, Ishtar shows the wrath and capability of women to overcome men. The death of Enkidu results directly from Ishtar’s actions and the two heroes are unable to stop her actions, which portrays female dominance over male. The more significant point from this event is that not only does Ishtar show dominance over Gilgamesh and Enkidu, but she also shows the power to influence her father, Anu. She successfully convinces Anu to send the Bull of Heaven to earth to destroy Gilgamesh and Enkidu due to her own personal matters. Ishtar’s actions ultimately depict the superior power females had among humans and gods.
As the story progresses, Gilgamesh encounters another female character, Siduri, during his journey to locate Utnapishtim. She makes a brief appearance, but plays a pivotal role as she acts as a mentor to Gilgamesh through the discussion of mortality and immortality. During their encounter, Siduri persuades Gilgamesh to kill his dream of acquiring immortality and enjoy life. In this event of the story, Siduri portrays women as characters who possess...

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