Journal I,2,3 - Journal I The Epic of Gilgamesh 1...

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Journal I The Epic of Gilgamesh 1. Civilization is defined as a society in an advanced state of social development. Civilized is a term that is used to describe someone or something that has a high state of culture and development both socially and technologically. Skilled labor marks the existence of civilization because it represents social order and organization. Many people working together to build and create a functioning society is the role in which skilled labor possess. The following quote shows how Enkidu, a man raised in the wild, encounters civilization through bread and ale: “How to eat bread Enkidu knew not, how to drink ale he had never been shown. The harlot opened her mouth, saying to Enkidu: Eat the bread, Enkidu, essential to life, drink the ale, the lot of the land!” (Tablet II, line 90-97) Sex is considered civilizing because it is a mean of survival. People need to have sex in order to pass on their specialized skill to their children, a crucial factor in the survival of any civilization. The text gave an example of the what happens to Enkidu and his gazelles when he had sex with Shamhat. “For six days and seven nights Enkidu was erect, as he coupled with Shamhat. When with her delights he was fully sated, he turned his gaze to his herd. The gazelles saw Enkidu, they started to run, the beasts of the field shied away from his presence.” (Tablet I, line 194-198) In matters of civilized social organization, Gilgamesh is considered civilized in that aspect. He is the King of Uruk, therefore the highest in the social order. He also has wealth, education, and power. “Gilgamesh the tall, magnificent and terrible, who opened passes in the mountains, who dug wells on the slopes of the uplands, and crossed the ocean, the wide sea to the sunrise.” (Tablet I, line 137-140) In matters of a civilized individual, Enkidu is considered civilized in that aspect and not Gilgamesh. Compared to Gilgamesh’s behavior, Enkidu is not barbaric or immoral. Enkidu is spiritual and has respect for others. The following are examples of Gilgamesh’s tyranny: “His companions are kept on their feet by his contests, the young men of Uruk he harries without warrant, Gilgamesh lets no son go free to his father, by day and by night his tyranny grows harsher.” (Tablet 1, line 183-186) “Gilgamesh, the guide of the teeming people. Though he is their shepherd and their protector, powerful, pre-eminent, expert, and mighty, Gilgamesh lets no girl go free to her bride groom.” (Tablet 1, line 188-191) The following quote shows how Enkidu is more civilized than Gilgamesh. He is trying to stop Gilgamesh from carrying out his immoral behaviors. “For the goddess of weddings the bed was laid out, Gilgamesh met with the maiden by night. Forward came Enkidu, he stood in the street, blocking the path of Gilgamesh.” (Tablet II, line 198-201)
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2. Gilgamesh’s response to Enkidu’s death: Refuses to bury Enkidu’s body Arranged an extravagant funeral and built a statue to commemorate Enkidu
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