Limited access

Upgrade to access all content for this subject

Read the following lines from Book I.

Enkidu sat down at Shamhat’s feet. He looked at her, and he understood all the words she was speaking to him….Deep in his heart he felt something stir, a longing he had never known before, the longing for a true friend (Mitchell 79-80).

What is the significance of these lines in relation to Enkidu’s character and the epic?


Enkidu has undergone an epiphany that the animal world is not as wonderful as the human world.


Enkidu’s transformation has allowed him to gain new knowledge, which shows the gods’ desire for men to be intellectually capable.


Enkidu’s epiphany has allowed him to understand human connection, which reverses his role from primal being to civilized character. His longing for a companion foreshadows his friendship with Gilgamesh and reinforces the idea of Enkidu as Gilgamesh’s foil.


Enkidu is experiencing pain and a longing for the world from which he came and companionship from the animals whom he used to roam with and befriend.


Enkidu’s epiphany has brought him suffering and feelings of loneliness. He now knows that true human experience is one of loss and regret.

Select an assignment template