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After Gilgamesh slays Humbaba, Enkidu says,

“By your great strength you have killed Humbaba, the forest’s watchman. What could bring you dishonor now?” (Mitchell 128).

This is ironic because


Mesopotamians value intellect, cunning, and humility over physical prowess, yet Enkidu associates physical strength with honor and heroic deeds.


Enkidu is the one who slew Humbaba, yet he attributes the credit and glory to Gilgamesh.


This heroic feat is in fact deeply dishonorable, as it went against the gods' will.


Killing Humbaba has brought shame on Gilgamesh, yet Enkidu thinks that killing the monster is an honorable act.


Enkidu had been scared throughout the entire journey and had never exhibited any excitement or desire to slay Humbaba, yet he is now congratulating Gilgamesh for slaying the beast.

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