Ishtar: the Goddess of Love and the Death of Enkidu
Gilgamesh was King of Uruk who was 2/3 god and 1/3 man. He built great ziggurats and temple towers. Although Gilgamesh was physically beautiful, strong and very wise, he started his reign as a cruel king and many people groaned under his oppression. The gods decided to put Gilgamesh in check by creating a wild man named Enkidu who later befriended Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh Grieves for Enkidu and Seeks Immortality
Gilgamesh and Enkidu set out on an adventure together to steal trees from a cedar forest in which mortals are forbidden. Humbaba a demon who was a servant to the god of earth wind and air guarded the forest. The two end up killing the demon with the help of Shamash the sun god. They cut down the trees, build a raft, and return to Uruk.
Meeting with Utnapishtim
Ishtar falls in love with Gilgamesh, but he rejects her. Very angry, Ishtar asks her father Anu, the god of the sky, to send down the Bull of Heaven bringing 7 years of famine as a punishment. Gilgamesh and Enkidu wrestle the bull and kill it. The gods decide that one of the two must die because of their actions, Enkidu is chosen and falls ill to death.
Gilgamesh Accepts Mortality
Gilgamesh sets off into the wilderness to find Utnapishtim, the Mesopotamian Noah who was granted eternal life. Gilgamesh hopes learn how to avoid death from Utnapishtim. On the way, Gilgamesh meets Siduri, a tavern keeper, and tells her about his journeys. Siduri warns Gilgamesh that seeking for immortality is meaningless and that he should be content with his life.
Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh about the story on how the gods flooded the Earth and how he was rewarded eternal life. Gilgamesh insists on being granted eternal life but Utnapishtim tests him first saying if you want to live forever surely you can stay awake for a week. However, Gilgamesh fails.
The gods once flooded the Earth... men would die but human kind could live...
Gilgamesh then moves on to find a youth restoring plant. He finds it but it is then stolen away by a snake and Gilgamesh returns to Uruk empty handed. However Gilgamesh learns an important lesson from his journeys and sees the great worth in his own city.