In the tale of The Epic of Gilgamesh women play a prominent role throughout the book. They give advice and help guide our main characters Gilgamesh and Enkidu. In the tale women play multiple impactful roles such as a maternal advisor, a harlot, and a goddess. Women at this time were not the most idolized or looked at as the best but they still had importance in their culture.Shamhat is the harlot in the epic who had sex with Enkidu for six days and seven nights, after Enkidu was spotted by trappers. Afterwords Enkidu could not return to other animals and had to learn how to act like a normal man. From there Shamhat was the one who taught Enkidu how to act like a normal man and opened his eyes to see what the real world was like.
In the epic Ninsun is the mother of Gilgamesh and is also the maternal advisor that helps guide Gilgamesh throughout his adventure. At the beginning of the tale Ninsun gives Gilgamesh guidance with the two dreams he had the days before. In those dreams he dreamt of an axe and a meteor and seeks guidance from Ninsun, she tells him that those dreams mean something good will soon come into his life, this foreshadowed Gilgamesh and Enkidu becoming friends. “The axe, which you saw, which drew you so powerfully like the love of a woman, that is the comrade whom I give you.” When Gilgamesh and Enkidu go to the cedar forest to fight Humbaba, Ninsun prays to Shamash, the sun God, to protect Gilgamesh and Enkidu on their adventure. This shows the motherly role in the epic. Without Ninsun role in the epic Gilgamesh would have never known about Enkidu and they would have never gone on their adventure.In the epic the goddess Ishtar is the goddess in the story