After reading the Epic of Gilgamesh I put great thought into the meaning and exactly who was tamed. I think this epic is about the taming of nature and man. To me, Enkidu represents nature he was created as a wild man and “he was innocent of mankind; he knew nothing of the cultivated land. ” He is animal like in the beginning of the epic and it takes the advancement of the harlot to make him a man. Once Enkidu has slept with the harlot his animal brethren no longer accept him because he now has the stench of humanity.
Another example of nature being tamed is the killing of Humbaba, Lord of the Cedars. I think Humbaba is a symbol for nature that must be tamed if humanity’s civilization is to grow. “While Gilgamesh felled the first of the trees of the forest Enkidu cleared their roots to the banks of the Euphrates. ” This sounds to me like clearing of a forest in the name of progress. It seems like they are making the land suitable for use by humans for farming.
No regard is given for the forest, the animals that live in the forest or any future implications from this clearing. I do think Gilgamesh ends in journey tamed, he realizes man is part animal and we still need what nature provides. I think in modern day society we still find ourselves trying to tame nature. With the clearing of rainforests for development and to the taming of animals. I think in today’s society we waste the land and the benefits we get from nature.
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