The Epic of Gilgamesh - Geneva Classical Academy


The Epic of Gilgamesh

Tablet V

What does Humbaba threaten? Have you heard this phraseology in other literature?

(To feed their flesh to the birds. Ancient people say this in the Bible.)

What happens in the battle? How?

(Shamash sends his 13 winds to bind Humbaba, and he is captured and killed.)

What significant factor of the ancient mind is represented here? In other words, what does this teach us about Mesopotamian religion?

(Gods interfere in human affairs. With the petty pagan gods, this is tragic, but with the

Supreme Almighty God, this is a blessing.)

What else do we learn about the characters from this portion of the conflict in the narrative?

(They are very human. Gilgamesh is afraid after dreaming, but Enkidu is strong and positive. Later, Enkidu is emotional and vengeful and wants to kill Humababa, but then

Gilgamesh is the more level-headed one having pity. These characters seem like real men here.)

Tablet VI

Why does Gilgamesh spurn the goddess Ishtar?

(She mistreated her previous lovers.)

Why is that significant?

(It seems inconsistent or hypocritical for him to judge her sexual behavior when he was mistreating the female citizens)

What does the goddess do in retaliation?

(She asks Anu to send the Bull of Heaven to avenge her by causing devastation.)

What happens?

(They kill it.)