Gilgamesh was a mortal king that was once choking from his ego and arrogance towards his subjects. He was blessed by the gods of the land with exceptional qualities beyond those of an average mortal. Gilgamesh had incredible strength and power, but, he used them at the expense of the peoples happiness. He would lust over, and rape the wives of other men, and literally eliminate anyone who dared challenged his tyrant authority. When the oppressed people were pushed to their limit, they pleaded for help from their gods. Enkidu was then created from clay by Aruru the goddess of creation. Enkidu was given great strength and power almost matching Gilgamesh, in order to subdue the tyrant king, and end the oppression of people. Enkidu gets introduced to humanity through sexual rituals by a temple prostitute.
When Enkidu finally meets with Gilgamesh, the two gigantic men wrestle ferociously but Gilgamesh wins the fight. However, Enkidu earns the respect of Gilgamesh, and the two become best of friends. The theme of true friendship and love is reflected and propagated by Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Their friendship transformed Gilgamesh from his oppressiveness nature and arrogance into a classic champion and king. The two friends accomplish many things together and gain the affection of the people. Together, they embark on a precarious quest to venture into the forbidden forest and destroy the cedar trees that Humbaba protected. Soon after their celebrated victory, they engage in a series of more battles from their nemeses, and again, they emerge victoriously. Gilgamesh and Enkidu fame becomes widespread in the kingdom and among the gods. Enkidu is eventually punished by the gods as a repercussion for killing Humbaba and he dies. The death of his best friend and brother, Enkidu stresses Gilgamesh beyond measure. He erects a statue of gold for his friend as he had promised him, and sets out on a journey to search for immortality. Ultimately, Gilgamesh discovers that death is inescapable; however, he learned that the measure of ones life is the love that he leaves when he is gone (Mitchell 2004)
Friendship and love are the two most important aspects of life. Love nurtures friendship, and in the same way, friendship nurtures love. Both friendship and love can never be forced or dictated of how they should happen. Love binds true friendship as the cementing factor. Thus it will be able to stand firm even in times of despair. Love cemented Gilgamesh and Enkidu friendship, and thus they managed to attain the heights of success in their escapades. It is important to note that, both Enkidu and Gilgamesh had many common traits and goals. Having several identical attributes will further cement friendship ties. Gilgamesh became a better man and king due to the love caused by his friendship to Enkidu. However, this is not to say that, friendship cannot thrive in the absence of common attributes. In such cases, other factors such as respect, trust and commitment are introduced into the equation. The loss of a loved one or a close friend is a painful experience to go through. It often leaves the deceased friend in devastated state clinging to old cherished memories. Although Gilgamesh was a king, the loneliness and gaps his friend Enkidu had left were purely felt. He, therefore, wandered the wilderness before coming to terms with the tough reality. Indeed, the measure of your life is the love that you leave when you are gone.
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