The Epic of Gilgamesh Quotes

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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 555 words
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"He who has seen the history of Gilgamesh, he who knows all together that has happened to him together, he who has seen all kinds of wisdom and knows the mysteries and has seen what is hidden, he bringeth news dating farther back than the deluge."
-- Narrator (Tablet 1 paragraph Lines 1-6)

Importance: These are the beginning lines in the poem that introduces Gilgamesh to the story.

"Not does Gilgamesh leave the son to his father, nor the maiden to the warrior, nor the wife to her husband."
-- Narrator (Tablet 2 paragraph Line 1-2)

Importance: This quote tells the reader that Gilgamesh keeps challenging all these men to fights and wins, killing them or humiliating them, either way leaving their families without them. This is why the people ask the gods to make a man who rivals Gilgamesh.

"Create now a rival to him, for the time when his heart shall be---, Let them fight together and Uruk [shall be the spectator]!"
-- Gods of heaven (Tablet 2 paragraph Lines 15-16)

Importance: This is the conversation the gods have in response to the request of the people to make a rival for Gilgamesh.

"He will place thee upon a couch, a seat to the left. The kinds of the earth shall kiss thy feet, The people of Uruk shall whine before thee---and the nations shall work for thee."
-- Gilgamesh (Tablet 3 paragraph 15)

Importance: This is Gilgamesh trying to convince Enkidu that if they kill Humbaba, they will be famous.

"The roaring of Humbaba was like that of a storm cyclone; his mouth was [full of] blasphemy,his breath [killing] like hot wind."
-- Gilgamesh (Tablet 4 paragraph 12)

Importance: This is a description of Humbaba from a dream Gilgamesh had on his journey to the Cedar Forest.

"There they stood, lofty arose the forest, and [astonished] they gazed at the height of the cedars and at the entrance of the cedar wood, where Humbaba was wont to walk with lofty steps."
-- Narrator (Tablet 5 paragraph Line 1)

Importance: This quote describes what Gilgamesh and Enkidu see when they arrive at the Cedar Forest.

"Be thou my husband, let me be thy wife, and I will set thee in a chariot [embossed] with precious stones and gold, with wheels made of gold, and shafts of sapphires."
-- Ishtar (Tablet 6 paragraph Line 9)

Importance: This is Ishtar's proposal of marriage to Gilgamesh that leads to so much trouble when he turns her down.

"In good health I went forth, my friend. But the dream which I dreamed has been fulfilled."
-- Enkidu (Tablet 7 paragraph Line 4)

Importance: This is Enkidu telling Gilgamesh that he is dying.

"Earth has snatched him away."
-- Gilgamesh (Tablet 8 paragraph Line 1)

Importance: This is Gilgamesh's grief over the death of his friend.

"I will not die like Enkidu, But weeping has entered into my heart;"
-- Gilgamesh (Tablet 9 paragraph Line 1)

Importance: This illustrates Gilgamesh's sudden fear of death as he grieves for his departed friend.

"Gilgamesh, there has never been a crossing [here], an no one since eternatl days has ever crossed the sea. Shamash, the hero, crosses it; but besides Shamash who can cross it?"
-- Sirudi (Tablet 10 paragraph Line 15)

Importance: These are Sirudi's words to Gilgamesh as she tries to warn him of the perils of crossing the Waters of Death.

"When the seventh day drew nigh the tempest, the storm, the battle which they had waged like a great host began to moderate."
-- Narrator (Tablet 11 paragraph Line 68)

Importance: This quote describes the end of the great flood on the seventh day. This flood was caused by the gods beause they were unhappy with the behvaior of some of the mortals. Enlil is blamed, so he gives immortal life to Utanapishtim and his wife to prove he likes humans.

This section contains 555 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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