In image of several gods with animalistic

In exchange for the wisdom Enkidu gains from the temple
prostitute he loses several things as a consequence. In the Epic, the goddess
created Enkidu in the image of several gods with animalistic traits, and he was
“innocent of mankind; he knew nothing of the cultivated land.” However, after
lying with the temple prostitute for 6 days he lost his animalistic qualities
and became completely human. The wild game that had once accepted him as a part
of their world now turned and fled from him because of that change. When he
attempts to follow them, the speed and agility he once had fades away quickly. The
writing says, “his body was bound as though with a cord, his knees gave way
when he started to run, his swiftness was gone.” The Epic reads, “Enkidu was
grown weak, for wisdom was in him, and the thoughts of a man were in his
heart.” I also feel that an unspoken truth is that he lost his freedom. Before
sleeping with the temple prostitute he roamed the lands, freely eating and
drinking when and where he pleased. It could be said he was one with nature and
was a protector of the wild life. After his encounter with the woman he became
entrapped by the “civilized” world and its ways. He was made to eat and drink
like the city men. The temple prostitute said, “Enkidu, eat bread, it is the
staff of life; drink the wine, it is the custom of the land.” She dressed him
and with all this “Enkidu had become a man”. Ultimately, I believe his greatest
loss was his life. Had he never succumbed to the “woman’s power” and embraced her
when she beckoned him, he may have never met Gilgamesh and traveled and fought
with him. When the gods decided they must destroy one of the two close
companions, they chose Enkidu. So yes, he gained ‘wisdom’ from the temple
prostitute, but in a very short time he loses everything including his life.

In the Epic, Gilgamesh grows through the transition from
knowledge to wisdom. Once connected to Enkidu he is determined to write his
name in the history books. He states, “I have not established my name stamped
on bricks as my destiny decreed”. He determines that his first quest should be
to rid the Cedar Forest of the evil Humbaba. Enkidu offers his knowledge of the
destructive power of Humbaba to Gilgamesh who in turn scoffs at his newly
gained knowledge. He labels Enkidu as fearful of death and schools him in
saying, “Only the gods live forever with glorious Shamash, but as for us men,
our days are numbered”. In essence he was saying that all men die and it was
nothing to fear. Even the counsellors of Uruk that he sought out agreed that it
was not wise to seek out Humbaba saying, “Gilgamesh, you are young, your
courage carries you too far, you cannot know what this enterprise means which
you plan.”  However, when death comes
home to Gilgamesh and Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh goes on his journey to find
Utnapishtim. He hopes that Utnapishtim will tell him how to obtain immortality.
Instead, through the death of Enkidu and journey to Utnapishtim, Gilgamesh
attains wisdom. Also, with his encounters with Ishtar, after refusing her
marriage proposal and insulting her based on his knowledge of her previous
mates, Gilgamesh gains wisdom in dealing with the gods after hearing the great
flood story of Utnapishtim. In the Epic the gods of Gilgamesh are portrayed as
wrathful and vengeful and he must use wisdom in dealing with these beings. By
the end of the epic no longer is he a tyrannical king that is reckless with
life. Gilgamesh truly understands that he will not live forever, he will age
and he must use wisdom to live a life that is a blessing to others. He finally
understands that being a good king is what gives him immortality in a way he
never thought of.

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