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Gilgamesh

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by

Isabella Sarette

on 4 October 2012

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Transcript of Gilgamesh

GILGAMESH, KING OF URUK The Epic of Gilgamesh I WILL proclaim to the world the deeds of Gilgamesh. This was the man to whom all things were known; this was the king who knew the countries of the world. He was wise, he saw mysteries and knew secret things, he brought us a tale of the days before the flood. He went on a long journey, was weary, worn-out with labour, returning he rested, he engraved on a stone the whole story. Gilgamesh can be compared to modern day superheroes, with his looks, strength, and physique, such as Superman or Batman When the gods created Gilgamesh they gave him a perfect body. Shamash the glorious sun endowed him with beauty, Adad the god of the storm endowed him with courage, the great gods made his beauty perfect, surpassing all others, terrifying like a great wild bull.
Two thirds they made him god and one third man. ‘A goddess made him, strong as a savage bull,
none can withstand his arms. No son is left with his
father, for Gilgamesh takes them all; and is this the
king, the shepherd of his people? His lust leaves no
virgin to her lover, neither the warrior's daughter nor
the wife of the noble. So the goddess concieved an image in her mind, and it was of the stuff of Anu of the firmament. She dipped her hands in water and pinched off clay, she let it fall in the wilderness, and noble Enkidu was created. Mighty Gilgamesh came on and Enkidu met him at the gate. He put out his foot and prevented Gilgamesh from entering the house, so they grappled, holding each other like bulls. They broke the doorposts and the walls shook, they snorted like bulls locked together. They shattered the doorposts and the walls shook. Gilgamesh bent his knee with his foot planted on the ground and with a turn Enkidu was thrown. Then immediately his fury died. The was virtue in him of the god of war, of Ninurta himself. His body was rough, he had long hair like a woman's; it waved like the hair of Nisaba, the goddess of corn. His body was covered with matted hair like Samugan's, the god of cattle. He was innocent of mankind; he knew nothing of the cultivated land. When he roars it is like the torrent of the storm, his breath like fire, and his jaws are death itself. He guards the cedars so well that when the wild heifer stirs in the forest, though she is sixty leagues distant, he hears her. It was then that the lord Gilgamesh turned his thoughts to the Country of the Living; on the Land of Cedars the lord Gilgamesh reflected. He said to his servant Enkidu, 'I have no established my name stamped on bricks as my destiny decreed; therefore I will go to the country where the cedar is felled. I will set up my name in the place where the names of famous men are written, and where- no man's name is written yet I will wise a monuments to the gods. Because of the evil that is in the land, we will go to the forest and destroy the evil; for the forest lives Humbaba whose name is "Hugeness", , a ferocious giant. When Anu had heard their
lamentation the gods cried to Aruru, the goddess of
creation, ‘You made him, O Aruru; now create his
equal; let it be as like him as his own reflection, his
second self; stormy heart for stormy heart. Let them
contend together and leave Uruk in quiet.' When Enkidu was thrown he said to Gilgamesh, 'There is not another like you in the world. Ninsun, who is as strong as a wild ox in the byre, she was the mother who bore you, and now you are raised above all men, and Enlil has given you the kingship, for your strength surpasses the strength of men.' So Enkidu and Gilgamesh embraced and their friendship was sealed. Together they went down into the forest and they came to the green mountain. There they stood still, they were struck dumb; they stood still and gazed at the forest. They saw the height of the cedar, they saw the way into the forest and the track where Humbaba was used to walk. The way was broad and the going was good. They gazed at the mountain of cedars, the dwelling-place of the gods and the throne of Ishtar. The hugeness of the cedar rose in front of the mountain, its shade was beautiful, full of comfort; mountain and glade were green with brushwood: ‘I, Gilgamesh, go to see that creature of whom such things are spoken, the rumour of whose name fills the world. I will conquer him in his cedar wood and show the strength of the sons of Uruk, all the world shall know of it. I am committed to this enterprise: to climb the mountain, to cut down the cedar, and leave behind me an enduring name.' Gilgamesh took up a kid, white without spot, and a brown one with it; he held them against his breast, and he carried them into the presence of the sun. He took in his hand his silver sceptre and he said to glorious Shamash, ‘I am going to that country, O Shamash, I am going; my hands supplicate, so let it be well with my soul and bring me back to the quay of Uruk. Grant, I beseech, your protection, and let the omen be good.' Glorious Shamash answered, ‘Gilgamesh, you are strong, but what is the Country of the Living to you? ‘Gilgamesh, let me speak. I have never known a mother, no, nor a father who reared me. I was born of the mountain, he reared me, and Enlil made me the keeper of this forest. Let me go free, Gilgamesh, and I will be your servant, you shall be my lord; all the trees of the forest that I tended on the mountain shall be yours. I will cut them down and build you a palace.' He took him by the hand and led him to his house, so that the heart of Gilgamesh was moved with compassion. He swore by the heavenly life, by the earthly life, by the underworld itself: Humbaba Enkidu: ‘Do not listen, Gilgamesh: this Humbaba must die. Kill Humbaba first and his servants after.' Gilgamesh listened to the word of his companion, he took the axe in his hand, he drew the sword from his belt, and he struck Humbaba with a thrust of the sword to the neck, and Enkidu his comrade struck the second blow. At the third blow Humbaba fell. Then there followed confusion for this was the guardian of the forest whom they had felled to the ground. For as far as two leagues the cedars shivered when Enkidu felled the watcher of the forest, he at whose voice Hermon and Lebanon used to tremble. When he saw the head of Humbaba, Enlil raged at them. ‘Why did you do this thing? From henceforth may the fire be on your faces, may it eat the bread that you eat, may it drink where you drink.' Then Enlil took again the blaze and the seven splendours that had been Humbaba's: he gave the first to the river, and he gave to the lion, to the stone of execration, to the mountain and to the dreaded daughter of the Queen of Hell. Now the mountains were moved and all the hills, for the guardian of the forest was killed. They attacked the cedars, the seven splendours of Humbaba were extinguished. So they pressed on into the forest bearing the sword of eight talents. They uncovered the sacred dwellings of the Anunnaki and while Gilgamesh felled the first of the trees of the forest Enkidu cleared their roots as far as the banks of Euphrates. They set Humbaba before the gods, before Enlil; they kissed the ground and dropped the shroud and set the head before him. Isabella Sarette So they asked their gods to create someone of his equal so their city can be left in peace The people of Uruk were sick of putting up with King Gilgamesh's ever growing arrogance Gilgamesh can be considered the first recorded superhero story, including defending his city, a sidekick, and a villain. I guess stone tablets were the next best thing instead of comic books. Gilgamesh and Enkidu tested each other's strength and instead of continuing to fight they teamed up and became friends. Gilgamesh decides he wants everyone to know his name one way or another so he seeks adventure with his sidekick, Enkidu, and ventures off into an unknown forest to fight and conquer evil. It is heard that the land they are traveling to inhabits a ferocious giant. In comparison to modern day superheroes, I think Gilgamesh can be closely related to Batman in the sense that neither have real superpowers such as x-ray vision or the power to fly. But both are driven by adventure, defending their beloved city, having sidekicks, facing villains and back-stabbing, and sometimes seek revenge. Humbaba, the ferocious, villainous, giant pleads Gilgamesh for his life and offers himself as his servant to Gilgamesh in return for his life. Instead of agreeing, Enkidu convinces Gilgamesh to defeat the evil of Humbaba once and for all. Works Cited
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