Boasts and oaths before battle are common in epics. Gilgamesh offers such a boast before he battles Humbaba. Discuss the elements of the heroic boast. Why are such boasts performed? To what narrative technique are boasts similar?
Tablet 3, Column 6, Line 229 notes that Gilgamesh cries after an unrecorded address by the elders. Why do you think the young hero cries at this point? Is he behaving like a pouty child who is being prevented from having his way? Or does Gilgamesh have a moment of realization where the weight of what he has vowed to accomplish hits him? Epic heroes cannot back out of boasts once they are issued so Gilgamesh must follow through with his stated intentions.
When Enkidu and Gilgamesh are preparing to leave to battle Humbaba, no one offers advice to Enkidu. Ninsun cautions Enkidu to look after her son and see him back safely. The...
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