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Week 2 DQ 1

Week 2: DQ 1
Aesha Sykes
Texas Southern University
World Literature I
Name of the course instructor
February 25, 2022
Week 2: DQ 1
Question 1: What is Gilgamesh’s primary virtue and primary vice. Explain why. Provide
two quotes, each for virtue and vice, to support your response. Provide line numbers and page
Ans. Gilgamesh’s primary virtue is his courage which is predominantly evident in his battle
with Humbaba. Although Humbaba had prior advantages in terms of strength, Gilgamesh gained
the courage to fight against such a rebellion giant. He also ends up being a different man as he
deals with the trials and challenges throughout his journey. This transformation can be observed
in the following lines:
Let your clothes be clean,
Let your head be washed, may you bathe in water!
(Tablet 7, Page no. 36)
On the other hand, his personality also has a primary vice, including selfishness and greed.
This is evident in the incident where he forces a newlywed girl to sleep with him which reveals
his dark side as a king.
‘[Though powerful, pre-eminent,] expert [and mighty,] I 75
[Gilgamesh] lets [no] girl go free to [her bridegroom.]’
(Tablet 2, Page no. 4)
Question 2: What is the nature of the gods in The Epic of Gilgamesh? Are the gods good, or
are they evil? Do the gods establish a good toward which humans should strive, or are they
merely meddlers in the affairs of men? What does it mean for Gilgamesh to be 2/3 god and 1/3
man? Provide quotes to support your response with line numbers and page numbers.
Ans. In “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, the gods appear to be extremely powerful and selfish
in their pursuits. They possess great control over people, which is another true aspect of their
nature. One such instance that stands for their selfishness and level of control is the decision to
create valiant in silence to help and save people from the terror of Gilgamesh (Sandars, 2014).
This is also evident in the instance where gods tried to destroy the entire mankind through a
terrible flood.
At his noises Gilgamesh was roused …
Like a dove he moaned …
“May he not be held, in death …
O preeminent among men …”
To his friend …
“I will mourn him (?)
I at his side …” (Tablet 2)
They do not establish any good deeds towards humans. On the other hand, for Gilgamesh,
being ⅔ god and ⅓ man employs his desire to be a demigod as he is seen as an offspring of a god
and human.
Sandars, N. K. (2014). The epic of Gilgamesh. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.
(Original work published 1960)