The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

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  • Even though we were rivals, I can tell we are meant to be companions!
  • We have guaranteed our fame!
  • Let's get the craftsmen to come see this before I sacrifice it to my dad
  • When Enkidu arrives is Uruk, the people are amazed. Gilgamesh and him lock in combat and grapple through the streets. They eventually stop and Enkidu pledges his fidelity. The two men kiss and embrace. Ninsun gives their friendship her blessing, declaring that they will be faithful companions.
  • Why do the God's have to punish me like this???
  • Enkidu tells Gilgamesh about the fearsome monster Humbaba who guards the cedar forest. Gilgamesh wants to make a name for himself and decides they will kill Humbaba so they can get cedar wood for the city. They set out on their journey. Gilgamesh kills Humbaba with the help of Enkidu and makes a new gate for Uruk from the tallest tree in the forest to monument the adventure.
  • The sea is too stormy! Even if you survive the crossing, you would then face the poisonous Waters of Death, which only Urshanabi knows how to navigate. He lives deep in the forest, where he guards the Urnu-snakes and the Stone Things. 
  • Gilgamesh returns to Uruk and he cleans himself up. He looks so good that Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, is overcome with lust. She pleads with Gilgamesh to be her husband, but Gilgamesh has heard about how Ishtar treats the things she loves, and rejects her. She is furious and unleashes the Bull of Heaven on Uruk. Gilgamesh and Enkidu fight the bull together. Enkidu holds the monster still so that Gilgamesh can kill it.
  •  There is a thorny plant that grows beneath the waves called How-the-Old- Man-Once-Again-Becomes- a-Young-Man
  • Enkidu becomes sick after the God's decide that one of the companions must die for killing Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven and for felling the tallest cedar tree. Gilgamesh is distraught and promises his friend that he willerect an enormous statue of Enkidu, made entirely of gold. Enkidu suffers for 12 more days and then dies. 
  • Enkidu's death shatters Gilgamesh and he roams the wilderness, desolate with sorrow. He decides to seek out Utnapishtim, who survived the flood that had almost ended life on Earth and became the only mortal granted everlasting life by the gods. He hopes Utnapishtim can tell him how he too might escape death. Utnapishtim lives in the far-off place where the sun rises, a place no mortal has ever ventured. He meets Siduri and she tells him to find Urshanabi and he'll take him to Utnapishtim. 
  • He does and when they meet Utnapishtim, they are told the story of how he survived the flood. When Utnapishtim finishes his story, he asks Gilgamesh if he thinks he's worthy of living forever. He tells Gilgamesh that, as a test, he should try to go a week with no sleep. Gilgamesh accepts the challenge, but when he sits down to begin he falls into a deep sleep. Utnapishtim and his wife decide to give him a plant of youthfulness to bring back to his land. However, a snake ends up stealing it. This helps Gilgamesh to come to terms with his fate and be a better person.
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