Gilgamesh Response Paper
In “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, there have been many quotes from the text that have raised questions and have made me reconsider what I thought of this epic. One major question that I couldn’t completely resolve was whether the relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu was platonic or homoerotic. While the text seems to explain the relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu is platonic, I think their relationship was homoerotic.
In this epic, the poet made it clear that there was a strong bond between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. While Gilgamesh and Enkidu were physically equivalent, Gilgamesh was civilized and clouded by arrogance. Enkidu on the other hand was wild and unclouded by the ways of humankind. To keep it brief Enkidu was the good to Gilgamesh’s evil. Throughout their friendship, Enkidu becomes more humane through the prostitute Shamhat and Gilgamesh becomes less arrogant and self-centered and learns the meaning of friendship. They complete each other, just like a husband and wife and there is plenty of evidence proving that.
In tablet 1, Gilgamesh says “In the streets of strong- walled Uruk there lay an axe; the shape of it was strange and the people thronged round. I saw it and was glad. I bent down, deeply drawn towards it; I loved it like a woman and wore it at my side." This proves that Gilgamesh and Enkidu had a husband and wife relationship rather than a brotherly relationship. Also throughout the epic, Enkidu and Gilgamesh kiss and embrace frequently and even cuddle with each other during very strenuous times on their way to Ceder Forest Another thing that proves that there might been of sexual relation between them is that when Ishtar, the goddess of love, offers Gilgamesh to be her bridesgroom.