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The Epic of Gilgamesh, Relationship With Ishtar and Enkidu

Scholarly study of Gilgamesh

From the writings of “The Epic of Gilgamesh: Thoughts on genre and meaning,” by (George 2), it is clear that most scholars have specialized in the analysis of Gilgamesh’s epic and have approached the following poems using some of them the most critical methods. “The Epic of Gilgamesh” is authored by Andrew George and reported to have first been published in 1999 and later included in Penguin books in 2000. According to comparisons in the book, oral patterns and narrative structure of Gilgamesh have been clearly outlined. This book consists of the epic story of Gilgamesh, the study of relationships from a critical perspective to enhance the study of mythology and address the issue of genre in literature. The study of the Goddess of Gilgamesh explores the areas that are likely to contribute to gaining adequate knowledge and yield more insight. The study of the genre has a firm foundation and has been established as a literary-critical tool. The advanced criticism has questioned the usefulness and the validity hence creating a sign of maturity. Precisely, literary criticisms and Gilgamesh’s epic poems have been of great novelty regarding the study of Goddess Gilgamesh and the relationships.

Relationship between Gilgamesh and Ishtar

Furthermore, while narrowing down to the millennial study of the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, the study of Gilgamesh is used in the training of scribes. The story of Gilgamesh is not only lovely but also helpful in equal measure for beginners. “And as a difficult classic of traditional literature, senior pupils studied it at greater length nearing the end of their training”. The use of legendary language and familiarity with Gilgamesh’s story has created lively study and life’s profound poems in a classroom setting.

Additionally, the study of Gilgamesh is imbued with morality from a philosophical point of view; the probable reasons why it has been in study and has received consideration as vital for the student’s intellectual development. The themes that arise from the study of Gilgamesh are absorbing and contain details that capture readers’ attention and lighten the mood. Gilgamesh used cuneiform tablets which are described to be smooth and rectangle-shaped. The Gilgamesh kingdom had various forms of gods and deities.

Furthermore, the Sumerian and Akkadian sources show that the Babylonians believed service to gods to be the sole purpose for the human race. Enlil who is said to have imposed the burden (Bing) of carrying the earth to humankind through diggings. The Gilgamesh kingdom was a religious one and had several temples. In “Religion and Humanity in Mesopotamian Myth and Epic.” by (Pryke) there is constant reference to the polytheistic nature of divine hierarchy. For example, “In Atrahasis and the myth of the creation of Enuma Elish,” humans were born to serve the gods (Pryke) and perform menial tasks. Gilgamesh’s epic shows how multifaceted the relationships are involving gods and humans.

Humanity is vulnerable to destruction by divine supernatural powers, and humans successfully manipulate deities emotionally with the assistance and guidance of Ea. Communication to higher powers is through giving offerings, which is an effective way to access divine support. Moreover, the theme of sexuality is evident in Gilgamesh’s kingdom. Sexuality is a divine power with great potential attached to the god of love and war. Sex fulfilled a crucial function in the continuation of life and as a form of promoting shared intimacy and pleasure among the two genders. Additionally, because of life and death in Gilgamesh’s mythology, the immortality of deities outlines the human sphere of existence from that of divine power. In Gilgamesh’s epic, life and death form central themes in understanding complex dynamics in both deities and humans.

The relationship between Gilgamesh and goddess Ishtar is one of those worth studying; the ideal moments and conversions are breathtaking and unfolds in a series of instances. To begin with, the article “The evolution of the Gilgamesh epic” by (Tigay) shows how the beauty of Gilgamesh triggers an immense desire in goddess Ishtar, which makes Ishtar propose to Gilgamesh. The poet writes, “On the beauty of Gilgamesh, Lady Ishtar looked with longing: Come, Gilgamesh, be you, my bridegroom!” However, Gilgamesh turns scornful towards Ishtar, and he reminds her of the fates suffered(George) through her numerous conquests. Gilgamesh says to Ishtar, “[whence would come] my food and sustenance? [Would you feed me] bread that is fit for a god, [and pour me ale] that is fit for a king?’ It also comes as a doubt that Gilgamesh has for the relationship and marriage between him and Ishtar. Ishtar turns furious and rushes to heaven. In heaven, Ishtar becomes persuasive towards her father, Anu, to give her the fiery Bull of Heaven to punish Gilgamesh in death. When the Bull of Heaven is issued, it causes massive havoc in Uruk. Fortunately, Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill the bull (George) after spotting its weak point. Later, Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu insult Ishtar due to her filled death mission, and they triumph in the palace upon their return. Besides, when Ishtar tries to betroth Gilgamesh after successfully killing the giant, Humbaba, his rise in self-esteem and self-worth creates his derailment from Ishtar’s “seductive wiles.” Gilgamesh insults Ishtar for being like a brazier smouldering in the cold and like a sandal that trips the wearer. In the “On the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh,” authored by (Bing 1), Kramer has considered the death of Enkidu to be inclined to Babylon rather than Sumerian. This is because Kramer strongly contrasts the features in the Sumerian poem ” Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the Nether World.”

Relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu

Gilgamesh relates with Enkidu in helping kill the bull through dotting its weak point. Also, Gilgamesh holds celebrations in the palace with Enkidu in victory for winning against Ishtar’s mission of wanting to kill Gilgamesh. The theme of friendship against a single enemy is very evident in Enkidu and Gilgamesh’s relationship. He says, ‘My friend, why were the great gods in counsel?’ Moreover, in the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh has been used to create an ignominy. Gilgamesh’s ignominy is connected to Enkidu’s languish while on the deathbed as Enkidu dies.

Second, Gilgamesh seems to have been very close and in the centre of Enkidu’s heart. Gilgamesh is the only person with the hint about Enkidu’s dream. According to the dream, Enkidu has a vision of the goods assembled to issue a decree in his doom. In the dream, Enkidu’s earlier made door of cedar in the temple fails to secure him a favor from god Enlil. Moreover, the relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh is established through the punishments rendered by the gods, Anul, Enlil, Ea and Shamash, who is a celestial god. Enkidu says to Gilgamesh, “My brother, this night what a dream [I dreamed!] The gods Anu, Enlil, Ea and celestial Shamash [held assembly]” The gods bring the death of Enkidu because both Enkidu and Gilgamesh slew the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba, the giant, that guarded the mountains with cedar. Anu speaking to Enlil, says, “These, because they slew the Bull of Heaven, and slew:!-Humbaba that [guarded] the mountains dense-[ wooded1 with cedar,” therefore “between these two [let one of them die!].”

My relation to the text

In my relation to Gilgamesh and Enkidu and Ishtar’s context, I am aware of people with scornful behavior, just like Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh scorned god Ishtar upon killing Humbaba. In a real-life setting, friends’ egos and their general self-worth tend to increase whenever they succeed or accomplish something great. In addition, it is entirely normal for the gender to express admiration based on beauty and character. For example, in today’s society, people express affections through compliments through descriptive adaptive messages which trigger intimacy. It supports the idea of Ishtar expressing admiration for Gilgamesh, which reflects the society we are living in today. However, in the affectionate expression theory and the societal code of conduct, it is unacceptable for a female to propose to a male, which is the case with god Ishtar to Gilgamesh. Perhaps, this proves why Gilgamesh turned down Ishtar’s proposal request in the mythology.

Moreover, I strongly feel that I would hardly accept a proposal request made similar to Ishtar’s. A female-inclined proposal devalues the position of a man in the world and creates a tainted image of a man in the world of dating.

Conclusion of Gilgamesh mythology

In conclusion, the eminent relationships between Gilgamesh and Ishtar, Gilgamesh and Enkidu and Gilgamesh himself have been advanced in aspects worth creating a personal relation. The scholarly articles, literal criticisms and the Gilgamesh poems bring a lot of value from Gilgamesh mythology. They have led to great novelty regarding the study of Gilgamesh and his relationships.

Works Cited

Bing, John Daniel. “On the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh.” Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 7.1 (1975): 2191.

George, Andrew.  The Epic of Gilgamesh: Thoughts on genre and meaning. No. 21. Peeters, 2007.

Pryke, Louise. “Religion and Humanity in Mesopotamian Myth and Epic.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion. 2016.

Today, Jeffrey H. The evolution of the Gilgamesh epic. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2002.


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