Guide Questions: Stories of the Flood

HIST 001: Western Civilization I
Guide Questions: Stories of the Flood
These questions should guide you in your reading of The Epic of Gilgamesh and the
story of the flood presented in Genesis.
1. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is arguably the hero of the story. From
what you have read, what characteristics make him so? What does this
characterization tell you about Babylonian culture?
2. Who was Uta-nipishti? What role does he play in the epic? What does
Gilgamesh learn from him?
3. According to The Epic of Gilgamesh, why did the flood occur? What was the role
of the gods? How did they interact with mankind before the flood? After?
4. What about in Genesis?
5. Although Gilgamesh wants to live forever, he could not even stay awake for
seven days. What is the point of this episode? What does Gilgamesh ultimately
learn about immortality and the afterlife?
6. How does Noah compare to Gilgamesh and Uta-nipishti?
7. How does the god of Noah compare to those of Gilgamesh? What does this tell
you about each culture’s view of the divine?
8. What is the role of women in each story? What does this tell us about their
authors’ cultures?