Many scholars see Enkidu’s progress throughout Gilgamesh as being a prime example of the Theory of Social Evolution. This theory posits that humankind began as one with nature (good) and ended up as corrupted by placing itself above nature (bad). Here are the three steps to The Theory of Social Evolution.
4 questions each question, a 200-word count minimum.
1: The Savage stage: the purest stage. Humankind is one with nature, and it lives in peace with all animals. It does not place itself above nature.
2: The Pastoral stage: Humankind learns to cultivate the earth, learns to herd animals and manage livestock; it thus places itself above nature. This step is one step away from its purest stage.
3: The City-stage: the most corrupt state. Humankind has placed itself above nature. In the city, it thinks it is better than nature, and thus can rule or destroy nature at its will.
Each of your answers should be at least 200 words long. Spelling and grammar count.
Question One: Please fully explain evidence of Enkidu’s Pastoral Stage (the second stage explained above.) Be thorough. (5 points max)
Question two: Compassion, empathy, and mercy can be seen as important themes in the poem. Fully explain two instances wherein these themes arise. Develop your insights by offering at least one direct quote for each instance. In your opinion, should one have mercy for one’s enemy? (5 points max)
Question three: Gilgamesh ends our tale by seeking immortality. Fully explain how close he got to achieving his goal, and what happens to rob him of the gift he seeks. Also, even though Gilgamesh dies, is there a way that he at least symbolically achieves immortality? (5 points max)
Question Four: Define the word “Hubris.” In your opinion, who is guiltier of suffering from hubris in the epic poem, Gilgamesh or Enkidu? Use specific examples to thoroughly explain your answer. (5 points max)