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 university in Pennsylvania owns a large portion of the Gilgamesh tablets?

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

3. What does the courtesan use to clothe Enkidu?

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

5. What is the woman called who seduces Enkidu?

Short Essay Questions

1. Compare and contrast Gilgamesh's insult to Ishtar with the one issued by Enkidu.

2. Describe Enkidu and Gilgamesh's relationship.

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

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

5. Describe Gilgamesh's lamentations for Enkidu.

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

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

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

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

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

In Tablet 2, Column 3, Lines 10-14 the courtesan instructs Enkidu to eat the bread and drink the strong drink. Compare the wording of these lines to the words used in Christian communion ceremonies. There is a formulaic quality to the lines where the participant is instructed to "take and eat, take and drink." Are there any similarities between these lines? Gilgamesh is often compared with other Old Testament stories but the communion ritual comes from the last supper. Is there any evidence to support a connection between Gilgamesh and Christ's last supper?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Gilgamesh has been on a great journey since he first met Enkidu. Enkidu is Gilgamesh's equal and the two have great adventures. However, Enkidu also represents the qualities that Gilgamesh lacks. Discuss Gilgamesh's journey to discover his own weaknesses and how he does or does not learn to accept them.

(see the answer keys)

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