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. From where does Gilgamesh's mother say his companion will come?

2. How far do Gilgamesh and Enkidu walk each day?

3. How many days does the journey to the Cedar Forest take?

4. By what phrase does Enkidu refer to Ninsun?

5. What does the courtesan use to clothe Enkidu?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Ekidnu's character.

2. Enkidu is even more afraid when his hand becomes paralyzed after touching the forest gate. Describe the speech Gilgamesh makes to his friend to encourage him.

3. Describe the fight between Enlil and Shamash over which man will die - Gilgamesh or Enkidu.

4. Who does Gilgamesh decide to find and why does he wish to talk to this person/thing?

5. Why do the scorpion people finally agree to let Gilgamesh pass through the gates into the mountain paths?

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

7. Discuss why Enkidu is angered by news of the celebration in Uruk.

8. What effect do the missing lines of interpretation have on Gilgamesh's dreams?

9. Discuss the procession that sees Gilgamesh off on his adventure.

10. Describe what Enkidu sees in his dream of the underworld.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Enkidu is a man without a family, without title, and without anyone to remember him when he is gone. Ninsun speaks with him before he leaves with Gilgamesh to face Humbaba. Ninsun adopts him as her own son and gives him gifts similar to those that Gilgamesh receives as her son. The hero who does not have a family is often adopted by those he aides. A similar scene occurs in Beowulf when Hrothgar "adopts" Beowulf. Discuss the implications of Ninsun adopting Enkidu as her own. What does this adoption mean for Enkidu? How will it affect his life compared with being a nameless man living among the shepherds and beasts?

Essay Topic 2

Repetition of words, phrases, or even scenes is common in the Epic. In Tablet 9 when Gilgamesh is traveling through the the mountain pass at Mashu the lines are repeated telling how many double hours Gilgamesh journeys, that the darkness is dense and that he cannot see in front of or behind him. Discuss the effect the repetition has on this scene.

Essay Topic 3

When Gilgamesh identifies himself to Siduri, he lists the accomplishments of his life. He also lists these accomplishments when describing Enkidu. Discuss why these accomplishments are so important to Gilgamesh's life. Relate your discussion to class discussions throughout the book that focused on the importance of a man leaving some sort of legacy for himself and dying a valiant death.

(see the answer keys)

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