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At the beginning of Book V when Enkidu and Gilgamesh encounter Humbaba, Enkidu says,

“Dear friend, I cannot continue, I am frightened, I cannot go on” (Mitchell 119).

What is the significance of Enkidu’s reaction?


Enkidu’s reaction showcases his whiny, fearful nature, and emphasizes how weak he is in comparison to the mighty Gilgamesh.


When Gilgamesh is scared of his dreams, Enkidu offers solace, and when Enkidu fears Humbaba, Gilgamesh comforts him. This role reversal emphasizes the foil pairing between Enkidu and Gilgamesh.


Enkidu’s reaction stems from guilt because it was his idea to kill Humbaba, and he is now regretting his decision to leave Uruk.


Gilgamesh had dreamt of bad omens, and it is only now that Enkidu realizes that these dreams are prophecies of their doom at Humbaba’s hands.


When Enkidu admits his fear, he demonstrates his shameful cowardice.

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