Gilgamesh: Man's First Story - Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Bernarda Bryson Shahn
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Chapter 11 Summary

Gilgamesh arrives at the shore of the Bitter River without incident and, though he spots the boat that is to carry him across, he waits for untold days and nights for Urshanabi, the boatman, to arrive. Unable to control his impatient anger, he lifts a stone and throws it down onto the boat, smashing the oarlocks, and is prevented from doing any further damage by the sound of the boatman's voice demanding to know who dares to damage the boat of Utnapishtim.

Hearing his ancestor's name, Gilgamesh immediately repents and begs the boatman to take him across the river. The boatman reiterates what everyone has told Gilgamesh from the beginning of his quest: No mortal has ever crossed the Bitter River. Besides, he adds, Gilgamesh has made travel in the boat impossible by breaking the oarlocks.

Feeling pity for Gilgamesh in his shame and desperation, Urshanabi offers...

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This section contains 272 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Gilgamesh: Man's First Story Study Guide
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