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It is indeed only with the arrival on stage of Enkidu that Gilgamesh becomes personalized and humanized, among other means through the narrative perspective, which hovers close above the hero, his deeds, and his emotions.
If the meaning intended were that Gilgamesh and Enkidu grappled like bulls (reading the phrase issabtuma kima *lim) or bent like bulls (kima *lim iludu), one would except a plural noun, rather than the singular, "like a bull.
Some of these, such as the sexual imagery in Gilgamesh's dreams of Enkidu, have been discussed repeatedly and seem now more or less canonical.
In this connection, there has been speculation about the source of the story of Enkidu's birth (according to the epic, divinely created; according to Gilgamesh himself the son of a gazelle, SB VIII 3, presumably because Enkidu sucked gazelle milk in infancy?
Thus for example, when Enkidu, in the form of a ghost, is allowed out of the Netherworld, he embraces his old friend Gilgamesh.
The fact that the verbs in this passage are all preterit and that the narrated action has already taken place does not change the fact that in the narration of the story--whether we are reading it, or else hearing it told--we are implicitly invited to look at Enkidu with or through the trapper's eyes.
Thus, in well-known episodes from the SB Epic of Gilgames, Enkidu dons clothing as the second step in his transformation from wild proto-man to civilized man of the city (Gilg.
bar]lu "must be domestic livestock," so the author of the Penn tablet, who wants to make Enkidu a wild man instead of a shepherd, "avoids a term that specifies domestic herds and instead utilizes the more versatile namma ta.
The men are more like spouses than brothers: after his beloved dies, Gilgamesh soothes his extravagant grief by ordering a statue of Enkidu cast in precious metal.
The Epic of Gilgames (Standard Babylonian version) is full of word-plays and other suggestive language, as well as erotic encounters between Gilgames and the women of Uruk, between Gilgames and Enkidu, between Enkidu and Samhat, and, in a sense, also between Gilgames and Istar.
Not surprisingly, especially given the importance of symbol-laden dreams in Gilgamesh (which predict the arrival of Enkidu in Uruk and, later, his death), the psychoanalyst C.
The Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh likewise grieved in an extravagantly poignant manner at the death of his companion Enkidu, who was created by the gods to serve as a check on Gilgamesh's lawless sexual energies and who, in some traditions, died in place of his friend.
Indeed, there is good reason to suppose that in some corners Etana was recalled in the same breath as Gilgames, something appreciable when Etana is compared with the Gilgames tradition preserved in Gilgames, Enkidu, and the Netherword (GEN) and its parallels.
Indeed, I would suggest that the "heroic dreamworld" of Gilgamesh and Enkidu is grounded in and dependent on the homosexuality of their culture.
Before meeting Enkidu in the flesh, Gilgamesh receives a prophesy--from his mother, of all people--declaring that the king will receive "a dear friend, a mighty hero":
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