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Read the following lines from Book V when Gilgamesh faces Humbaba.

Dread surged through Gilgamesh, terror flooded his muscles, his heart froze, his mouth went dry, his legs shook, his feet were rooted to the ground (Mitchell 121).

What is the significance of these lines in relation to Gilgamesh’s character progression in the epic?


This is one of the first times that Gilgamesh is fearful of an opponent, which allows him to experience some enlightenment about mortality and his ego during his hero’s cycle.


This is the last time that Gilgamesh feels fearful in the epic, which allows him to undergo the full transformation as a changed character.


This is the very first time that Gilgamesh experiences fear, and this indicates that he will remain this way throughout the entirety of the epic.


This is a momentary revelation in Gilgamesh’s journey that he is not as great as he had perceived himself in the beginning of the epic. This realization allows him to be completely humble throughout the rest of the narrative.


This epiphany of fear allows Gilgamesh to realize his own mortality, which later allows him to dispel any fear of death in the epic.

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