The Epic of Gilgamesh

First, watch this 30-minute video, The Epic of Gilgamesh, by clicking the link below: to an external site.)

I recommend you watch the video and then read the excerpt in the attached PDF from “The Epic of Gilgamesh” (pgs. 10-14 in the Sourcebook) AND skim through the complete version.

immediately afterward so that the insights of the various experts in the video are fresh in your mind.

Then answer the following questions about the video and the PDF reading.

Each answer should be at least 250 words in length and should provide specific examples and quotes from the reading and the video.

  1. In the opening few minutes of the clip, professors, artists, and literature experts give a number of reasons why the Epic of Gilgamesh has sparked the imagination of humans for (perhaps as much as) 4000 years. According to one commentator, what essential question – the question asked by all of humankind, the world over – is at the heart of the epic? Where and how does this question emerge in the excerpt?
  2. Think about the description of Gilgamesh and his city of Uruk at the beginning of the story. Would you have wanted to live there? Why or why not? Give specific examples.
  3. What is Gilgamesh’s reaction to the death of Enkidu? What question does he ask himself? And what action does he take, after finally burying Enkidu?
  4. What is your explanation for the flood story showing up in Gilgamesh many hundreds of years before it was written down in the Tanakh, or Old Testament?

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