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The Gilgamesh Epic The Coming of Enkidu

Lecture 2

Gilgamesh King in Uruk

Excavations at Uruk: Ziggurat

Excavations: Gilgamesh Epic

Layout of the Gilgamesh Epic


Prologue The coming of Enkidu The forest journey Ishtar and Gilgamesh and the death of Enkidu The search for everlasting life The story of the flood The return The death of Gilgamesh

Prologue: Gilgamesh King in Uruk

Layout of the Coming of Enkidu


The lament of the men of Uruk (none can withstand Gilgamesh he takes their sons and daughters). Aruru, the goddess of creation, forms out of clay an equal to Gilgamesh who is named Enkidu. Enkidu is like none other; he lives with the wild animals and shares a special bond with both animal and nature. Enkidu stirs up fear in the heart of an animal trapper, who then seeks advice from Gilgamesh, seeing that Enkidu sets the animals free who are caught in his traps. Gilgamesh sends a harlot with the trapper to seduce Enkidu. After Enkidus encounter with the harlot his special bond with both animal and nature is broken. The harlot tells Enkidu to return to Uruk with her to meet Gilgamesh. Enkidu agrees and boast challenging Gilgamesh. The harlot warns him that Gilgamesh is much stronger than him. Gilgamesh has two dreams about Enkidu and how they would become friends. The harlot takes Enkidu to live with shepards. Enkidu watches over the sheep at night. A man came and told the harlot that Gilgamesh is going to get married. When Enkidu heard of this he boldly proclaimed that he was going to Uruk to challenge Gilgamesh. When Enkidu arrived in Uruk he came upon Gilgamesh, who was on his way to his bride, and challenged him. It was shown that Gilgamesh was stronger, where after Enkidu and Gilgamesh sealed their friendship.

The coming of Enkidu