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Gilgamesh and the Features of a Hero

            Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk, was two thirds god and one third human. As a king, Gilgamesh's people expected him to be a leader by protecting them like a shepherd; courageous, strong, intelligent and selfless. But although Gilgamesh was always capable of exhibiting these qualities, what laid behind the facade was an often weak and imperfect man. The gods listened to Gilgamesh's people and decided that an equal, Enkidu, was required to control and balance the King's traits. A hero and true leader was revealed once Enkidu entered Gilgamesh's life.
             Gilgamesh showed tremendous strength as a leader and warrior throughout his time as being king. He led his tribe fearlessly into battle, and defeated all enemies they came into combat with. Gilgamesh's strength was exposed when he fought the mighty beast Humbaba, which wasn't an easy task. As Gilgamesh was leaving to battle Humbaba, the elders of Uruk advised him to follow Enkidu through the woods and told him to be careful. Gilgamesh was definitely nervous to fight Humbaba, but he was able to kill the creature and arrive back to Uruk successfully. Humbaba didn't stand a chance against King Gilgamesh's excellent warrior skills. Gilgamesh later shows another example of his strength when Anu releases a bull, which was supposed to trample the King. Gilgamesh was once again victorious in combat, and in an effort to make his city a safer place by killing the dangerous bull he, "plunged his sword in the throat held fast by Enkidu"" (Gilgamesh, Tablet 6). .
             An individual has to have more than strength to be deemed as a hero. As well as strength, Gilgamesh also demonstrated intelligence and respect throughout his life. Gilgamesh had a sense of precaution that kept his city powerful, and most importantly kept him out of harm's way. The King knew that if he fought the being, Humbaba, his people would realize that he was tough and prevalent, and could outsmart any enemy.

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