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. How does Gilgamesh know something is wrong with Enkidu?

2. What does Gilgamesh do before Shamash each time they stop?

3. What is a recension?

4. What type of drink is Enkidu used to drinking?

5. What does Gilgamesh's mother tell him the two dreams mean?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do the people of Uruk celebrate the axe in Gilgamesh's dream?

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

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 character.

6. Discuss why Gilgamesh has such a difficult time dealing with Enkidu's death.

7. What does the barmaid tell Gilgamesh and what do her words foreshadow?

8. Why is Enkidu able to admit his fears openly while Gilgamesh cannot?

9. Why is Urshanabi prevented from immediately conducting Gilgamesh across the sea?

10. Describe the battle between Enkidu and Gilgamesh.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Tablet 3, Gilgamesh talks about the fleetness of man's life. In Tablet 7, Enkidu laments that he is dying a disgraceful death instead of on the battlefield. The importance of a man's deeds, how he dies, and the way he is remembered are significant themes to the Epic and other heroic tales. Discuss this theme in relation to Gilgamesh. How do his rash deeds lead to a heroic life and deeds remembered? How do Gilgamesh's actions affect Enkidu's life so that he must die a disgraceful death? Does one man have to sacrifice others in order to gain notoriety for himself?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the similarities between Utnapishtim's flood story and the Biblical account of Noah and the flood. What is the symbolism of the flood? Why do you think at least one man is saved in each story?

Essay Topic 3

In Tablet 2, the author notes that Enkidu listened to the courtesan's advice and took the words of a woman to heart. There is an ominous connotation to these lines. A man who took the words of a woman seriously was not viewed as intelligent. Discuss the implications for Enkidu's life since he is now listening to the courtesan's advice on how to live his life. Relate your discussion to Enkidu's later illness and the curse, followed by the blessing, he calls down upon the courtesan.

(see the answer keys)

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