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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?


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


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


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


Only the gods can decide who shows mercy and when.


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

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