ENG2110 Gilgamesh

1/10/12
In the Class
Today we started to talk about Gilgamesh due to some technical difficulties. We watched a short documentary on it in which other professors and reading enthusiasts with doctorates spoke of the book. From the video I took down a couple of notes that may prove essential to the understanding of the book.
-Gilgamesh is the first piece of literature in history
-it was written in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq)
-it is about a king (Gilgamesh) who is transformed from a bad king to a good king
-Gilgamesh was born a king and is 2/3 god
-Enkidu is created to be Gilgamesh’s equal
-they fight and become friends
-Enkidu: natural (like Adam) and is humanized by a harlot after 7 days
-women motivate civilization, they do not play a passive role
-historically Gilgamesh was king of Uruk
-the book was written on clay tablets
-Umbaba is held captive by Gilgamesh and Enkidu and is killed
-as punishment for killing Humbaba, Enkidu is killed by the gods
-Gilgamesh has feelings of loss
-leaves to find eternal life in wilderness
-Upinishtim (like Noah) survived with wife through flood & was granted eternal life
-only the gods kept immortal life
-they told Gilgamesh to be merry during life
-Gilgamesh took a plant containing eternal life & was stolen by a serpent

From Own Notes (chronological)

no one likes Gilgameh
-sleeps w/ wives
-takes children’s fathers
– people plea to the gods
-Aruru makes Enkidu; an equal to Gilga
Enkidu is introduced
-made from clay
-trapper fears Enkidu
-he helps animals escape trapper
-father tells trapper to see Gilga to get a harlot
-harlot civilizes Enkidu
-once civilized, animals run from him
-longs for a companion
Ninsun is Silga’s mother
-interpret’s G’s dream of a strong companion
Enkidu is having a hard time drinking and eating
-harlot gives him bread (staff of life) & wine
-lives among the shephards
-gets anxious to meet Gilga & goes further into civilization
Enkidu comes into Uruk
-citizens say he looks like Gilgamesh
-he walks in front of the harlot (male supremacy in society?)
-Enkidu blocks Gilga, they grapple, and become friends
-E tells Gilga he is mortal and to treat the people justly
Gilgamesh wants to go to cedar woods to write his name to be remembered
-Shamash allows Gilga to go w/ Enkidu
-Gilga receives the axe “Might of Heroes” along with bow
-Uruk’s counsellors advise against it originally
-Ninsun adopts Enkidu
-epic: walk in three days what would take a month and a half
During the actual trip
-Gilga has three dreams:
1.Shamash is with them
2. Humbaba will fall
3. death?
-Gilga and Enkidu cut 7 cedars
– kill Humbaba w/ 3 blows
– Enlil gets pissed
Ishtar tries to seduce Gilgamesh into marriage
-he rejects, saying she is a skank
-Ishtar throws a fit and asks daddy for the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilga
-Bull enters Uruk
-mere snort kills hundreds
– Gilgamesh kills it
-punishment, Enkidu sentences to death even though innocent
-Enkidu curses trapper and harlot
-Shamash tells him that he would not have met Gilga without the harlot
-Enkidu wishes her the best
-afterlife is described: people are birds in darkness
-Gilga weeps for Enkidu & grows out hair for him
-Enkidu dies and Gilga stays with his corpse for 7 days
-gilga makes people errect a statue for his friend
-Gilga is depressed
-wants to find Utnapishtim for everlasting life
Gilga goes on his quest for everlasting life
– Scorpions let him pass into the mountains because he is 2/3 god
-enters 12 leagues of darkness
-talks to Siduri; wine maker, tells man is mortal and to live merrily while he can
-Urshanab helps Gilga pass over ocean after Gilga repairs boat
-cuts down 120 trees
-finally makes it to Utnapishtim
-tells secret of the gods: Enlil flooded earth, Ea warned Utnap to build a boat
-11 days to build the boat
-7 day storm
-sent out a dove, swallow, and then only the raven did not return
– Enlil gave Utnapishtim immortality
Gilga asks how to achieve immortality
-Utnapishtim tells him to achieve it he has to stay awake 7 days
-Gilga fails and they place bread around his body every day he is asleep
-so he cannot deny he was asleep
– Utnapishtim tells Gilga of a flower that restores youth in the ocean
Gilga gets it, and a serpent steals it
GILGAMESH DIES A LOVED KING

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