By Neal Walls
The 3 essays offered during this quantity demonstrate the symbolic complexity and poetic imaginative and prescient of historical close to japanese mythology. throughout the software of latest tools of literary research, the writer explores the interrelated subject matters of erotic wish, divine clash, and death’s realm in chosen old Mesopotamian and Egyptian mythological narratives. themes contain the development of hope within the Gilgamesh epic, a psychoanalytic method of “The Contendings of Horus and Seth,” and gender and the workout of strength within the stormy romance of Nergal and Ereshkigal. partitions’ clean remedy of those 3 vital myths brings them to existence for the expert and mythology buff alike.
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Additional resources for Desire, Discord and Death: Approaches to Near Eastern Myth (ASOR Books)
Similarly, Shamhat’s brazen display of her sexual charms incites desire in the wild man. Such provocative entrapment may cast Shamhat herself as a kind of hunter. ” Shamhat, however, is not the aggressor in the Gilgamesh epic; she is not a deceitful hooker soliciting a client for her own gain. Shamhat is only the lure used by the trapper to entice the wild man, a pawn in this contest between men. Her erotic allure (kuzbu) is powerful in its attraction, but it is nonetheless only an invitation, an availability, rather than a coercive force.
36 DESIRE, DISCORD, AND DEATH alkam-ma GilgΩmeå lu æΩºir atta inbÏka yâåi qâåu qÏåam-ma atta l„ mutÏ-ma anΩku l„ aååatka “Come to me, Gilgamesh, (for) you are a lover! Give, O give me freely of your ‘fruit’! ” The narrator’s confirmation of Gilgamesh’s attractiveness (dumqu) in line 6 makes the absence of any description of Ishtar’s allure even more conspicuous. “Fruit,” inb„, is a common figurative expression for sexual appeal and vigor in Akkadian erotic literature, apparently based on the metaphor of fruit’s luscious qualities (see Lambert 1987b:27–31).
His passions embraced (and enveloped) her: For six days and seven nights Enkidu was aroused and copulated with Shamhat. Jerrold Cooper (1997:92) describes this scene as a “male fantasy of sexual initiation” in which Shamhat simply spreads her legs to be 24 DESIRE, DISCORD, AND DEATH mounted by Enkidu, who behaves like a bull in rut. There is no foreplay or erotic dialogue and the woman’s compliance with masculine lust is simply assumed as the action moves directly to genital intercourse. The scene’s poetic vocabulary is sexually explicit without being erotic in character.