Essential Question: What is the key conflict in the Epic of Gilgamesh?

• Bellowed – to emit a loud animal-like cry; to roar
• Abyss – a deep, immeasurable space; a gulf or
• Batten – to secure or tie down
• Livid – enraged; furiously angry
• Stupor – a suspension of one’s sensibility; apathy
• Firmament – the vault of heaven; the skies
• Consigned – to hand over or deliver formally; to set
apart (in one’s mind)
Essential Question:
What understanding about
Mesopotamian religion is gained
from Utnapishtim’s story of the
At Your Desks…
• Skim over the reading from last night
• Fill out the “Talking Points” sheet
Reading Strategies…
• Use background information…
• Don’t read too fast…
• Asking questions…
• Writing about it…
• Talk about it…
The Flood Story
Was there a world-wide flood?
Comparing Arks
What makes it incredible?
What makes it believable?
Story of the Flood
• Utnapishtim tells of a time when the earth “teemed”
with people
• Enlil’s complaint
• Ea’s offering of help to Utnapishtim
• Utnapishtim’s actions
• The Gods bring the Flood waters
• Enlil’s anger continues and Ea’s rebuke
• Enlil’s reconciliation with Utnapishtim
The Gods
• Enlil – his anger decides man’s fate
• Ea – helps Utnapishtim to survive
• Nergal, Ninurta – bring the rains
• The Annanuki – cause fires on the earth
• Shamash – hides the sun
• Ishtar – sorrows over the death of her
Mesopotamian Beliefs
• The view of the gods presented
–Possess human characteristics
•Easily irritated
Mesopotamian Beliefs
• The view of the gods presented
–Interaction with humans
•Power to destroy/power to preserve
•Intercede on behalf of humanity
• So, what did Mesopotamians
– God’s are to be feared
– Man is at the mercy of the gods’ whims
Purpose of the Flood Story
• History the Mesopotamians
• Explain certain natural phenomena
– Geography
– Extinction of certain species
– Violent weather
• Provide spiritual “food for thought”
– Human mortality
– Divine intervention in human affairs
– Provides a basis for morality
• Read “The Return” pp. 32-33
• In your view, what does Gilgamesh
realize about the desire for everlasting
life and humankind’s mortality? Explain
how key events in this section support
your ideas.