The Role of Women in Epic of Gilgamesh

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Throughout history, women have been treated different than men nether less in The Epic of Gilgamesh women play a small but crucial role. In the story, the females characters have pretty much power as the males, and we are introduced to Aruru, Shamhat, the temple prostitute, Siduri, the goddess of wine, Ishtar, and the wife of Utnapishtim. One of the most interesting aspects of the story is that it shows how men were aware of the power of women, and in consequence they tried not to fall for their temptation. In this paper, the women characters of The Epic of Gilgamesh will be analyzed by their power, wisdom, sensuality, and destruction, as a result it will show the viewed and valued of women in the ancient Mesopotamia. In the beginning of the epic, the first female character that appears is Aruru and she is introduce as the goddess of creation. In response to the people of Uruk's complains about the behavior of Gilgamesh, Anu delegates to Ururu the task of creating a man out of clay equal to Gilgamesh, to face him and stop his misbehavior. In this case, the female character is a goddess and since only women have the capability to create a life, we can see the importance, value, and respect that man of the ancient society had towards woman. The second female character presented in the story is Shamhat, the temple prostitute that civilized Enkidu, with this in mind, Gail Corrington in his book The Strange Woman: power and sex in the bible says : "It is the women who possess knowledge that separates the "natural man," "the man of earth", from his close communion with the natural world" (101). Gilgamesh was aware of the power of women over men and knowing that he sends Shamhat to change Enkidu's nature. Women were not less than men as it could be easily mistaken by the word prostitute in Shamhat's title, in any case she is respected by the
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