Excerpt One: Mythology by Edith Hamilton



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Excerpt Three: The Epic of Gilgamesh, 2500-1500 B.C.E.

“In those days the world teemed, the people multiplied, the world bellowed like a wild bull, and the great god was aroused by the clamour. Enlil heard the clamour and he said to the gods in council, ‘The uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible by reason of the babble.’ So the gods agreed to exterminate mankind. Enlil did this, but Ea because of his oath warned me [Utnapishtim] in a dream. He whispered their words, ‘…tear down your house and build a boat, abandon possessions and look for life, despite worldly goods and save your soul alive. Tear down your house, I say, and build a boat.’…For six days and six nights the winds blew, torrent and tempest and flood overwhelmed the world, tempest and flood raged together like warring hosts. When the seventh day dawned the storm from the south subsided, the sea grew calm, the flood was stilled; I looked at the face of the word and there was silence, all mankind was turned to clay.” (Part 5)

1. What parallels can you find in these excerpts?

2. What is the reason for the creation of these stories?

3. Why do you suppose a natural disaster is used to punish mankind for wickedness?

4. How are these texts different?



5. What is the common theme found in these stories?


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