The epic of gilgamesh



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THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH
From Ancient Mesopotamia

1) Then Siduri said to him,
'If you are that Gilgamesh
who seized and killed the Bull of Heaven,
who killed the watchman of the cedar forest,
5) who overthrew Humbaba who lived in the forest,
and killed the lions in the passes of the mountain,
why are your cheeks so starved
and why is your face so drawn?
Why is despair in your heart
10) and your face like the face of one who has made a long journey?
Yes, why is your face burned from heat and cold,
and why do you come here wandering over the pastures
in search of the wind?'


Questions (Answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper & write the line number from where you found the answer to each question):
1. What has at least two of Gilgamesh’s accomplishments?
2. How does Siduri say that Gilgamesh appears physically?
3. What is Gilgamesh in search of, according to Siduri?
4. Predict what you think is haunting Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh answered her,
15) 'And why should not my cheeks be starved
and my face drawn?
Despair is in my heart
and my face is the face of one who has made a long journey,
it was burned with heat and with cold.
20) Why should I not wander over the pastures
in search of the wind?
My friend,
My younger brother,
he who hunted the wild ass of the wilderness and the panther of the plains,
25) my friend,
my younger brother
who seized and killed the Bull of Heaven
and overthrew Humbaba in the cedar forest,
my friend
30) who was very dear to me
and who endured dangers beside me,
Enkidu my brother
whom I loved,
the end of mortality has overtaken him.
35) I wept for him seven days and nights
till the worm fastened on him.
Because of my brother I am afraid of death,
because of my brother I stray through the wilderness
40) and cannot rest.
But now
young woman, maker of wine,
since I have seen your face
do not let me see the face of death
45) which I dread so much.'

Questions (Answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper & write the line number from where you found the answer to each question):
1. Why is Gilgamesh saddened?
2. Why was Enkidu so dear (Line 30) to Gilgamesh?
3. Of what is Gilgamesh now afraid? Why?

She answered,
'Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to?
You will never find the life for which you are looking.
When the gods created man
50) they alloted to him death,
but life they retained in their own keeping.
As for you, Gilgamesh,
fill your belly with good things;
day and night, night and day, dance and be merry,
55) feast and rejoice.
Let your clothes be fresh,
bathe yourself in water,
cherish the little child that holds your hand,
and make your wife happy in your embrace;
60) for this too is the lot of man.'

But Gilgamesh said to Siduri, the young woman,
'How can I be silent,
how can I rest,
when Enkidu whom I love is dust,
65) and I too shall die
and be laid in the earth for ever.'


Questions (Answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper & write the line number from where you found the answer to each question):
1. What does Siduri mean in lines 49-51 when she says, “When the gods created man/ they allotted to him death,/ but life they retained in their own keeping.”? Re-phrase what Siduri says in your own words.
2. What is Siduri’s advice for Gilgamesh? (What does she desire him to do?)
3. Does Gilgamesh heed Siduri’s advice? Why does he not?



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