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Read the following lines from Book V when Humbaba pleads for mercy.

“If any mortal, Enkidu, knows the rules of my forest, it is you. You know that this is my place and that I am the forest’s guardian. Enlil put me here to terrify men, and I guard the forest as Enlil ordains. If you kill me, you will call down the gods’ wrath, and their judgment will be severe. I could have killed you and the forest’s edge, I could have hung you from a cedar and fed your guts to the shrieking vultures and crows. Now it is your turn to show me mercy. Speak to him, beg [Gilgamesh] to spare my life” (Mitchell 125-126).

What does Humbaba’s rebuttal illustrate about Mesopotamian values?

A

It is important to respect the gods’ wishes and to exhibit mercy.

B

Monsters and evil forces in the world are always looking to thwart humans.

C

The destruction of monsters is a hero's greatest (and most arduous) task.

D

Only the gods can decide who shows mercy and when.

E

Humans have no concept of justice. Supernatural creatures and gods must teach them.

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