Folklore- final - Tamar Paltin Int. Folklore May 2007...

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Tamar Paltin Int. Folklore May 2007 Destructivity and Desire Humans and Gods all possess deep seated wants, wishes, and desires; the same is true of men who are of both human and Godly descent, maybe even more so. This idea of desire can be seen throughout the epic of Gilgamesh, possibly the first story ever written by man thousands of years before Oedipus, Romeo, or any of the other figures we now associate with love or desires exceeding their abilities. Gilgamesh, the great king of Uruk had both sexual desire and the desire for everlasting life, much of with can be tied to his relationship to Enkidu, the stalwart companion, an equal created by the Gods to match Gilgamesh and temper his over hostility and selfishness. Sexuality is an obvious aspect within the text, as both as a harbinger of change and in the form of seduction. As both of the key men, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, are more than men and yet less than Gods, it is unsurprising that their sexual desires and adventures be matched in the changes they force; having more impact than most human liaisons and yet less then those of the Gods. It is also undeniable that the Gods themselves may be attracted to either of these fateful characters. The very first pages of the epic begin with the plight of Uruk, their pleas to the Gods which details Gilgamesh’s use of rape as a tool for governance. Gilgamesh “rules the land of Uruk with despotic cruelty,” taking daughters, new brides, and using them as he pleases. (Pirayeh Yaghmaii) This is the first mention of sexuality in the work and it may be one of the forces that drive the Gods to create an equal for Gilgamesh, a balance
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to his power in the form of Enkidu. While the citizens of Uruk knew of and admired Gilgamesh’s greatness, they also feared him and lamented to the Gods concerning his harsh methods of ruling, until the coming of Enkidu. Enkidu was another man that was partly of the Gods, yet he was not yet as civilized as Gilgamesh and had to be tamed, his introduction too is characterized by sexuality. Enkidu’s introduction is the first seduction of the epic, and possibly the only
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course ENG 228 taught by Professor Hordis during the Spring '07 term at Arcadia University.

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Folklore- final - Tamar Paltin Int. Folklore May 2007...

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