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In regards to his character, Gilgamesh is a demigod, a compound consisting of one part man and two parts god. He greatly suffers from immoderation- no human is greater than him, whilst his flaws and virtues are huge. For instance, he is a fierce warrior and a greatly ambitious builder, known for his heroism and perseverance, however he also exhausted his subjects through forced labor and forced exercise of power. He selfishly satisfies his lavish appetite; he rapes whichever woman he pleases, and delights in self-righteousness and pride.  We do see the extent of his of loyalty in his friendship with Enkidu; in that he looked out for his friend during dangerous encounters and strange situations. Gilgamesh differed enormously from other leaders in the history of humanity; he put himself above the people and ultimately above the entire nation. According to the poem, “no son is left with his son, for Gilgamesh takes them all, even the children; yet the king should be a shepherd to his people. His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble, yet this is the shepherd of the city”. He did not see any need to conquer probably because he felt that he possessed enough to begin with. He dedicated most of his time to enjoying his life, reveling in earthly delights. It seems that Gilgamesh did not consider any other ideologies and only had a basis for ‘himself’, and those who came in the way of his attempt to enjoy his life were exterminated. He believed that all those blessed with his presence should be able to recognize him and look up to him. Gilgamesh’s pride also manifested itself in battle, in that he often underestimated opponents and viewed combat as just a game of amusement. His colossal ego hindered him from acknowledging those fighting him as a real threat.  This essay will seek to explore the journey of Gilgamesh’s character as he transitions from at first a balance of man and god, and in a sense good and evil, to ultimately a just, more human ruler, and a better person. 

As the story progresses, the people of Uruk, including the nobles, become greatly irked by the utterly oppressive nature of Gilgamesh’s leadership. The reader feels the sheer extent of this discontent as the poem tells us “the men of Uruk muttered in their houses, Gilgamesh sounds the tocsin for his amusement, his arrogance has no bounds by day or night”. He had grown to be more powerful than any other leader around him hence no one could ever overthrow him. His arrogance and restlessness had caused great havoc, and with a great deal of unhappiness and desperation among the civilians, the nobles turn to praying to the gods to come to their aid. The gods create Enkidu, a man who was equal to Gilgamesh in every way. Enkidu was initially a wild man who roamed the land without a sense of humanity, in the steppes of the nation.  A temple harlot who aims to make him human eventually tames the wild Enkidu, and thus it appears that both men change greatly.