In the beginning of the book one realizes that Gilgamesh is anarrogant person. Gilgamesh is full of himself and abuses his rights as king. He has sexual intercourse with the virgins of his town and acts as though heis a god. Although some readers of this classic book may say that Gilgameshdoes not change from the beginning of the book, it can easily be interpretedthe other way.
Throughout the book, many things cause Gilgamesh to change. He gains afriend, he makes a name for himself by killing Humbaba, and he tries tobecome immortal because of the death of Enkidu. Through these main actionshis personality changes and he becomes a better person. First, the questfor immortality after the death of Enkidu shows that Gilgamesh has changed. Gilgamesh becomes frightened when he realizes that he isn’t immortal. Afterthe death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh tries to find immortality by trying to crossthe ocean to find it.
He sounds pathetic as he rambles of his reason fortrying to find everlasting life. His state of being at this part in thebook, which is the end, is completely different from his arrogant beginningof this epic. Gilgamesh has gone from arrogant to scared. Second, the deathof Humbaba changes Gilgamesh.
Humbaba is evil. Many people who live in thecity of Uruk fear Gilgamesh. Most would say that Gilgamesh himself is, infact, evil. He has sex with the virgins, he does what he wants, and he tendsto offend the gods.
He has lots of problems with Ishtar. By going into theforest and facing Humbaba, Gilgamesh makes a name for himself and changes theviews of the people in his city. This is a very arguable point. Yes, thepast of Gilgamesh does not change, but the great deed of killing Humbaba,makes him a better person because he protects his city. This is anotherarguable point. Most would say he does this only to make a name for himself,but that is not the case.
Gilgamesh does this because of his love for Enkiduand his people; he has changed from the beginning of the epic. Finally and most importantly, the main reason that Gilgamesh changes fromthe beginning of the book is the friendship that he has with Enkidu. Enkiduis made to make Gilgamesh more human. In the first paragraph of the book thegods are angry with Gilgamesh and send down an equal of himself, they senddown Enkidu. After becoming friends, Gilgamesh changes because he has anequal to be with.
Enkidu and Gilgamesh become as close as brothers. Becauseof this, a very arguable point comes up. Were Enkidu and Gilgamesh lovers?The answer is obviously yes. What points in the book show this?They go tosleep holding hands, Gilgamesh loves Enkidu like a woman, and Gilgamesh goesalmost insane after the death of Enkidu. The point of Enkidu being a loverof Gilgamesh is very important. It allows the reader to understand thereasoning of Gilgamesh changing.
There are no changes in Gilgamesh as aperson until Enkidu enters the picture. Obviously he is the reason for alleventual changes in the personality and manhood of Gilgamesh. If the beliefand understanding of Gilgamesh and Enkidu being much more than “good” friendsis present, then the understanding of why Gilgamesh changes in the book isalso present. If Gilgamesh is just friends with Enkidu some change ispossible, but not almost total recall as Gilgamesh does in the book. Peoplechange more if there is sex involved and there is a deep relationship.
Inorder to make Enkidu happy, Gilgamesh has to change, and he does, throughouttheir relationship. In reflection, although some people would say thatGilgamesh does not change from the beginning of the book The Epic ofGilgamesh, the better understanding of the book reveals that, in fact,Gilgamesh does change from the beginning of the book to the end.Thepersonality of Gilgamesh changes for three distinct reasons.First,Gilgamesh changes in the book because of his insatiable desire forimmortality after the death of Enkidu.Gilgamesh wants immortality after thedeath of Enkidu.Second, Gilgamesh changes in the book because of the deathof Humbaba.The death of Humbaba show