The Epic of Gilgamesh Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What do the axe and meteorite signify in relationship to Enkidu?

2. How does Gilgamesh know something is wrong with Enkidu?

3. Who do the elders counsel Gilgamesh to let lead the way?

4. Gilgamesh's dreams are a realization of his personal what?

5. Why does Enkidu not like living in the city?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Enkidu counsel Gilgamesh to do with Humbaba and why?

2. Describe the weapons Gilgamesh and Enkidu arm themselves with to fight Humbaba.

3. Why are the gods responsible for creating a second man to be a counterpart to Gilgamesh?

4. Describe the Cedar Forest as Gilgamesh and Enkidu encounter it.

5. Describe Gilgamesh's actions following the beheading of Humbaba.

6. Describe the encounter Gilgamesh has in which the snake steals the plant of youth.

7. Describe Gilgamesh's dreams.

8. How does Gilgamesh's decision to journey to Utnapishtim provide evidence that he still has not matured and continues to act rashly?

9. What does Ninsun wear to pray to Shamash? Why does she dress this way?

10. After hearing about Ishtar's many lovers, what type of woman/goddess do you think she is?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 elders and townspeople do not seem worried about Enkidu's welfare or chances of survival. How do you interpret this scene? Is Enkidu ignored because the people are confident in his ability? Or would counseling Enkidu detract from the importance of Gilgamesh's journey?

Essay Topic 2

Siduri tells Gilgamesh that the only way to cross the sea is with Utnapishtim's boatman. The sea that he must cross are waters of death. Death is what Gilgamesh is most afraid of. Discuss the significance of Gilgamesh desiring to cross the sea of death in order to find the way to immortality.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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