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. To whom do the people of Uruk pray?

2. Who intercedes to help Gilgamesh overcome Humbaba?

3. How many layers of armor does Humbaba usually wear?

4. Where does Gilgamesh see the ax in his dream?

5. What will supposedly make Enkidu lose his power?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does the flood and the salvation of one family represent?

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

4. Describe the monument Gilgamesh has constructed in Enkidu's honor. What precious stones are used? Why are these stones chosen?

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

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

7. Describe Gilgamesh's lamentations for Enkidu.

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

9. Who does Gilgamesh command to mourn for Enkidu? How long does Gilgamesh mourn?

10. Who speaks the last lines of the Tablet?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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