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 does Gilgamesh want to do in the Cedar Forest?

2. Gilgamesh's dreams are an example of what kind of narrative technique?

3. What is a talent?

4. How does Enkidu react to Gilgamesh's dreams?

5. Which god is said to have her throne in the Cedar Forest?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the bull of heaven.

3. Discuss Enkidu's interpretations of Gilgamesh's dreams.

4. How does Gilgamesh's decision to cut down all the trees of the cedar forest represent his continued rashness and inability to exercise moderation?

5. Why is it significant that Gilgamesh cannot stay awake to pass the test Utnapishtim sets before him?

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

7. Describe Gilgamesh's answer to Siduri about why his appearance is so rough.

8. Describe Enkidu's relationship with the shepherds.

9. Describe the items Isthar promises Gilgamesh if he will become her husband.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many lines are missing throughout the story. Some are uninterpretable, while others have been destroyed by wear and tear or lost altogether. Discuss the impact missing lines have on the story. How do they affect understanding of events? How difficult is it for translators to piece together a complete story from different manuscripts each with missing lines?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss fear as it is used in the story. Gilgamesh is afraid to admit when he is afraid but he cries after hearing the elders' description of Humbaba. Enkidu is not afraid to voice his concerns. Enkidu seems to understand that fear can be a positive attribute for a man. Is fear a positive attribute in a hero?

Essay Topic 3

Enlil is said to be the god who appointed Humbaba protector of the cedar forest. In Tablet, 7 Enlil is the god who announces that Enkidu shall die for his part in the killing of Humbaba, the bull of heaven and cutting down the cedar forest. Knowing that Enlil wanted the forest protected why do you think he chooses Enkidu over Gilgamesh as the one to die? Do you think that Enkidu's previous knowledge of Humbaba and the forest plays a role in Enlil's decision? Does Enlil count Gilgamesh innocent because he did not originally know the story of Humbaba and the cedar forest?

(see the answer keys)

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