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The Epic of Gilgamesh

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Jonathan Schallert

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh
Enkidu's Dream of the Underworld
Patterns of Humanity
Battle with Humbaba
The Flood
The Return
Comparison to Other Analysis
Works Cited
-Ancient Mesopotamian tale of immortality
-Fertile crescent, constantly flooded and susceptible to invasions
-Written by the Sumerians, adopted by other cultures
-Written in cuneiform, on stone tablets
Connections to Other Literature
Patterns Visible
Connections to Other Literature
Connections to Other Literature
Connections to Other Literature
Connections to Other Literature
Patterns Visible
Patterns Visible
Patterns Visible
Patterns Visible
-Gilgamesh: Wise and powerful king, ruled over Uruk
-Created by the gods to be 2/3 god and 1/3 man

-Masterfully built temples, walls, and ramparts around Uruk
The Odyssey
The story of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk.
Tells of some of his deeds.
Gilgamesh had a friend named Enkidu
Gilgamesh set out on a quest for immortality.
Planned to obtain it by finding Utnapishtim
-Gilgamesh relates to Odysseus
-Acts of bravery and valor
-Great leaders, but possess flaws
Gilgamesh is created to be "two thirds god and one third man" (16)
While ruling Uruk, "[Gilgamesh] built walls, a great rampart, and the temples [for the gods]." (16)
On his journey, Gilgamesh "was weary, worn out with labor, returning he rested, he engraved on a stone the whole story." (15)
Enkidu is introduced. He is formed by the goddess Aruru when the citizens of Uruk complain about Gilgamesh's arrogance.
Enkidu and Gilgamesh go off to slay Humbaba, a giant that guards the forest.
Enkidu and Gilgamesh slay the giant, but anger Enlil by doing so.

Relates to the
Much like the beginning of Odysseus' journey
Humbaba is similar to the Cyclopes
The results of the encounter are similar.
Cultural Connections
-After defeating Humbaba, the goddess of love, Ishtar, makes advances on Gilgamesh, which he refuses

-Ishtar sends the Bull of Heaven, which Gilgamesh and Enkidu defeat together

-Enkidu has several dreams of death and the underworld, in which he is told that either him or Gilgamesh would die
Describes the Sumerian funeral service
Gilgamesh mentions part of the code of the warrior-king.
Enkidu shows he is less empathetic and merciful than Gilgamesh.
The gods argue and quarrel

When Gilgamesh first encounters Humbaba he realizes he is just a man and is afraid.
-Lord of the Flies
-Gilgamesh is Ralph, the leader challenged by many
-Enkidu is Piggy, the loyal friend who shares the values of the main character but faces his inevitable demise
Cultural Connections
-The underworld refers to Sumerian mythology, as a place where the dead lie
-The bull and religion, is used as an explanation for natural disasters and what was then inexplicable
Enkidu, as he sleeps in his illness, realizes that "it was [he] who cut down the cedar, [he] who leveled the forest, [he] who slew Humbaba, and now see[s] what has become of [him]" (20).
After his victory, "Gilgamesh rejects the advances of Ishtar, the goddess of love" (19).
In Enkidu's underworld dream, "They who had stood in the place of the gods like Anu and Enlil, stood now like servants to fetch baked meats in the house of dust.." (20).
Enkidu dies. Gilgamesh begins his search for immortality.
Gilgamesh treks across the ocean to find Utnapishtim
Utnapishtim tells him the story of the flood and how he became immortal.

Similar to the
Goes on a long journey
Finds a wise, old man who gives him advice on his quest
Encounters the sun god

Similar to the
The story of a flood
All of humanity is destroyed except one man
A god makes a promise with this man and helps him to survive
Builds a boat to house each of the creatures of the earth
Ends up on top of a mountain

Similar to "Prometheus and Pandora"
Enlil like Zeus
God floods Earth because humans have become too horrible
Ea like Prometheus
-Utnapishtim offers Gilgamesh immortality if he can stay awake for a week

-As he fails, he is taken by Urshanabi to be renewed and be sent home

-Utnapishtim's wife reveals a plant that would grant Gilgamesh immortality, but it is eaten by a snake

-Gilgamesh, who returns tired and without the reward he sought, records his journey on stone tablets
Genesis 1-3
-The plant that grants immortality is the forbidden fruit, a plant that the protagonists desire to fulfill their needs.
-The serpent in each story is the cause of the protagonists to not get what they desire
The Odyssey
-Urshanabi is the Sumerian Charon
The Bible
-The flood is the same flood in Genesis, eliminating the human race with few survivors
Mentions the themes of wisdom, mortality, and what it means to be human
Gilgamesh's mortality is crucial to the story
Instead his name lives on
Enkidu is imperfect
Gilgamesh is imperfect
Makes connection to Noah's Ark
Similar to the snake in the Garden of Eden

When Gilgamesh attempts Utnapishtim's test, he "count[s] these loaves and learn[s] how many days [he] slept" (27).
Gilgamesh returns to Uruk with no physical reward, but "he saw mysteries and knew secret things, he brought [the citizens] a tale of the days before the flood" (28).
When Gilgamesh is returning to Uruk with the plant, "the serpent sense[s] the sweetness of the flower. It [rises] out of the water and [snatches] it away" (27).
Brown, Arthur A. "Storytelling, the Meaning of Life,
The Epic of

" EWAC. Evansville.edu, 1996. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. <http://eawc.evansville.edu/essays/brown.htm>
Map of Ancient Mesopotamia. 2006. Photograph. Old Testament ESources.
Gordon.edu. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.
"The Epic of Gilgamesh." Prentice Hall Literature World Masterpieces. 4th Edition.
Bowler, Ellen, et al. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc, 1996. 12-29. Print.
The gods, again, show even they are not perfect


Gilgamesh's realization that death is certain.
Cultural Connections
-The flood may be referring to the unpredictable flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
Cultural Connections
Throughout the story, the number 7 is specified many times. It is considered a good or pure number by the Sumerians, and is used often to signify special occurances (loaves of bread, cedars, sages).
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