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As Gilgamesh mourns for Enkidu, he undergoes a physical transformation that makes his appearance similar to that of Enkidu’s. Gilgamesh tears his hair and clothes and eventually puts on filthy animal skins. Whereas Enkidu’s civilization made his appearance more like Gilgamesh’s, here the process is exactly the opposite. Gilgamesh reverts to a more savage state. His appearance suggests that he is trying to keep Enkidu alive in his own mind by becoming him.
Gilgamesh’s language while memorializing his friend also directly correlates to Enkidu’s wilderness roots. He deliberately invokes visions of the meadows and plains and the animals that inhabit them. These verses simultaneously speak to Enkidu’s innocence and his humanity. Enkidu was new to the ways of man when he met his demise but he was beloved by all that knew him in that short time. While he may have died a man, he is mourned by both the civilized and natural worlds.