World History & Geography I Unit 2 – Mesopotamia Literary Analysis: The Epic of Gilgamesh Reading Introduction The story begins with a description of two very different men in Mesopotamia. Gilgamesh, king over the city of Uruk, is known for both his great deeds and cruel treatment of his people. Enkidu is a wild man who lives among the animals as their friend, which frightens the civilized Sumerians. So, a farmer sends a prostitute out to seduce him, which completely weakens him. The animals will no longer dwell with him as one of their own, so the woman convinces him to move into the city of Uruk. There, he meets Gilgamesh and, after a spirited wrestling match, they become best friends. At this point, Gilgamesh convinces Enkidu that they should try to kill Humbaba, the demonic divine beast that guards the forest. After a brief journey and some restless nights, they arrive at the edge of the forest. Discussion Questions 1) 2) 3) 4) What is this story really about? What features of modern stories do you find in this narrative? What aspects of Mesopotamian society are revealed in this reading? What does the society who told this story have in common with ours today?