The Epic of Gilgamesh - Study Guide Tablets 8-9 Summary & Analysis

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This Study Guide consists of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
This section contains 312 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)

Summary

Tablet 8

This tablet is heavily damaged. What there is of the tablet talks about Gilgamesh’s deep grief for his friend and his creation of a statue to honor his friend.

Tablet 9

Gilgamesh is obsessed with death after Enkidu’s death, leading him to seek out Utanapishtim, an ancestor of his who has been granted immortality by the gods. When Gilgamesh reaches Mount Mashu at the very eastern end of the world, he comes face to face with a couple of scorpions. The scorpions tell him he cannot go to where Utanapishtim is because no mortal can walk the path the sun rises fast enough to keep from being burned. However, Gilgamesh manages to make it just in time and finds himself in a garden where precious stones grow on the trees instead of fruit.

Analysis

Gilgamesh is deeply disturbed about Enkidu’s death, but the reader soon begins to wonder if it is the loss of Enkidu that upsets him or the possibility of his own death one day. Gilgamesh has begun wandering in the wilderness. He decides to go speak to an ancestor of his who has been granted immortality by the gods. The reader is unclear what Gilgamesh hopes to get from this information, perhaps a way to avoid his own death. However, whatever it is that Gilgamesh wants, he proves he is determined by walking the path of the sun to reach his ancestor.

Discussion Question 1

How does Enkidu die? How does Gilgamesh respond to this death? Why?

Discussion Question 2

Where does Gilgamesh go after Enkidu’s death? For what purpose?

Discussion Question 3

How does Gilgamesh walk the path of the sun without getting burned? What does this suggest about Gilgamesh’s humanity?

Vocabulary

Captured, leash, toward, companion, begat, uttered, bosom, distinctions, finished, bundled, crown, slightly, accompanied, quarrel, slaying, foremost, wrath, shepherd, speedily, approach, maim.

This section contains 312 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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