Enkidu: A Deep Dive into the Hero of the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh

Last Updated: 16 Jul 2023
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In the vast and rich tableau of world literature, the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' stands out as one of the earliest and most imimpactingorks.

Among the narrative's many colorful characters, Enkidu, the wild man turned hero, is a figure of particular interest. This essay delves into the character of Enkidu, examining his narrative development, his role in the epic, his relationship with Gilgamesh, and the broader thematic implications of his character.

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By scrutinizing Enkidu from these varied perspectives, we aim to understand his multifaceted persona and his enduring relevance in the study of ancient literature.

Enkidu: The Evolution, Dynamics, and Thematic Underpinnings:

Enkidu's arc in the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' is nothing short of trantrans formative om his initial depiction as a wild man living harmoniously with animals, Enkidu undergoes a stark change upon his introduction to civilization, effectively highlighting the tension between nature and society prevalent in the epic.

Enkidu's relationship with Gilgamesh, the eponymous hero, is another central facet of the narrative. Initially formed in rivalry, their bond evolves into a deep friendship that significantly influences Gilgamesh's own development. This relationship is not just central to the plot, but also provides an exploration of camaraderie, loyalty, and the human need for companionship.

Furthermore, Enkidu's character plays a crucial role in conveying the epic's thematic musings on mortality and the human condition. His eventual death and its profound effect on Gilgamesh introduce the existential questions that form the epic's philosophical backbone.

Moreover, Enkidu's character serves to contrast and parallel Gilgamesh, providing a dual perspective on the narrative's explorations of heroism, friendship, mortality, and the pursuit of immortality. Through Enkidu's experiences, the narrative explores these complex themes from a uniquely grounded and humanistic angle.


In summation, the character of Enkidu in the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' serves as a richly layered and integral part of this ancient narrative.

Through his evolution from a wild man to a cultured hero, his profound friendship with Gilgamesh, and his instrumental role in exploring themes of mortality and humanity, Enkidu is as much a part of the epic's enduring legacy as Gilgamesh himself. This exploration of Enkidu provides a deeper understanding of his multifaceted character and his pivotal role within the epic's broader narrative and thematic fabric.

Thus, in the exploration of ancient literature, Enkidu emerges as a character of significant interest and enduring relevance.


  • George, A. R. (2003). "The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian". Penguin.
  • Sandars, N. K. (1972). "The Epic of Gilgamesh". Penguin Classics.
  • Tigay, J. H. (2002). "The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic". University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Maier, J. R. (1997). "Gilgamesh: A Reader". Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers.

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Enkidu: A Deep Dive into the Hero of the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh. (2023, Jul 16). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/enkidu-a-deep-dive-into-the-hero-of-the-epic-of-gilgamesh/

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