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Gilgamesh responds to Ishtar’s advances in the following lines:

“Your price is too high, such riches are far beyond my means. Tell me, how could I ever repay you, even if I gave you jewels, perfumes, rich robes? And what will happen to me when your heart turns elsewhere and your lust burns out?” (Mitchell 132).

The transactional nature of sex in the epic has shifted: Before this, Gilgamesh rapes whoever he wants with no thought to "barter;" here, however, he finally has to treat sex as something he needs to (re)pay.



His courtship with Ishtar is one of the utmost tenderness and sincerity, and he feels that he needs to prove his worth.


Gilgamesh and Ishtar's flirtatious advances are filled with tokens of love that showcase their affection for each other.


Gilgamesh and Ishtar's love is characterized by uncertainty; Gilgamesh wants a love as rich and durable as jewels and finery.


Gilgamesh and Ishtar's relationship is treated as a very superficial exchange, almost like an act of bartering because Ishtar is "tarnished."


Gilgamesh and Ishtar's love that they have for each other is portrayed as being more brilliant than all the riches and fine robes than Gilgamesh can afford.

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