The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Creation of Man in the Old Testament

February 22nd, 2013

The comparison and contrasts of the creation of man and how it has been used as a literary device to shape of culture.

Imagery is a specific literary device that supports the main idea or moral behind the tale, and with this being said many stories present the attention around the role of genders. There are two well-known stories about the creation that support this idea, The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Creation of Man in the Old Testament. Separately, as well as together they both share a particular connection of living a life as a female and how they are portrayed in a masculine society.

The connection that Enkidu shares with women such as Eve is in their appearance, nature and how Enkidu and Eve were created. The reason behind their creation is the tale behind the stories, the lessons that are learned once the reader comes to the end. Each were created to be a companion, the other half. Perhaps the better half.

Both Eve and Enkidu shared the qualities, the traits that Adam and Gilgamesh did not possess. They each needed to be created to keep the other two in their place.

Without Eve, Adam would have been alone, a wild man. In her own way she tamed him. She was to be the weaker of the two, he was meant to look after her and protect her for that reason. Eve ate the apple in Adam’s absence being tricked, if he were there perhaps they still may have been able to stay in Eden. How can Eve be blamed alone for an action she made unaware when Adam was nowhere in sight? But in conclusion, they both suffered the consequences by being kicked out of Eden.

Enkidu was created to be just as equal as Gilgamesh but in a different nature than him. Gilgamesh was a great warrior and very arrogant, whereas Enkidu was just as mighty but his nature was more pure, connected to the earth. Some may say, he is wild or considered barbaric, but when the two come together Enkidu lost something but gained a friend. Gilgamesh tamed and befriended the wild man, the two sharing a friendship like no other, obviously meant to be till Enkidu fell. And after that Gilgamesh learned the greatest lesson, love and how similar two can be.

The comparison of similarities between Enkidu and Eve are in the way each were created, their relationships with others; Enkidu and the harlot as well as Gilgamesh and Shamhat, Adam and Eve and the sneaky snake who tricked her into eating the forbidden fruit. These connections are of importance to how the gender role makes the story great, giving the viewers several different emotions, thoughts and ideas. Developing a connection behind the focal point therefore understanding the point the lesson learned behind each story because that’s why stories are essentially created; to prove a point in which that can be given down throughout generation like these two.

Basically showing that both characters are so similar to one another that they could actually be the same person.

One similarity between Enkidu and Eve is how they were both created. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Aruru makes Enkidu out of a piece of clay.

“Aruru washed her hands, pinched off clay and threw it into the wilderness.”

The story of Adam and Eve, God creates Eve out of a part of Adam’s rib cage. Both characters are portrayed as of someone lesser. Perhaps it’s because they both were created second, smaller or weaker. Both Enkidu and Eve were created to be companions of Gilgamesh and Adam.

“It is not good that a man should be alone.”

Adam and Gilgamesh play the masculine role in each story. Therefore Eve and Enkidu play the female or more feminine role in the stories.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Creation of Adam and Eve, both Eve and Enkidu are portrayed as beautiful and both Adam and Eve end up lusting for them in their own separate ways. However in the natural setting Enkidu is seduced by a prostitute sent by Gilgamesh. He sleeps with her for a week and by having sex with her the animals no longer favor him. Enkidu leaves the wilderness and goes to a civilized village with the harlot to meet Gilgamesh. Nature had cast out Enkidu for his betrayal just as Eve was banished from the garden of Eden.

But unlike Enkidu it is Adam who is in his naturalistic setting alone in the garden of Eden when Eve comes to him all lustful like eating the forbidden fruit. And because Adam gave in to his masculine instincts they both were banished from Eden to live a life of sin.

These examples of imagery devices show how relationships between two completely sets of characters and their gender role in each story have further created archetypes for stories that have followed after. The Epic of Gilgamesh and the creation of man in the Old Testament both share a particular connection and ending with a certain point getting across. The moral behind the two also share the same nature of living, a life as a female and how they are portrayed in a masculine society. The connection that Enkidu shares with women such as Eve is their appearance, nature and how Enkidu and Eve were created.

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