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Read the following quotation:

Then, from heaven, the voice of the god called to Gilgamesh: "Hurry, attack, attack Humbaba while the time is right, before he enters the depths of the forest, before he can hide there and wrap himself in his seven auras with their paralyzing glare. He is wearing just one now. Attack him! Now!” (Mitchell 116-117).

Which god says this, and why is it significant?


Based on the element of foreshadowing that happens in Gilgamesh's dreams and Enkidu's interpretation of those dreams, Shamash says these lines. These lines are significant because it not only shows the Mesopotamian sun god's favor of Gilgamesh and his power to impact events but also illustrates the importance of foreshadowing in this epic through the dream motif.


Enlil, who put Humbaba in the Cedar Forest to protect it, utters these lines. This is important because it illustrates the Mesopotamians' view of the gods as fickle, willing to turn on their own decisions.


Due to the cultural implications of how Mesopotamians view women, it is important to note that Aruru has said these lines. Since women are always portrayed as motherly protector figures in this society, it makes sense that she would want to protect Enkidu, especially since it was she who fashioned Enkidu from clay.


Ishtar says these lines, which is important because it gives her motivation for the extreme anger she feels when Gilgamesh rejects her. The fact that she helps save him from Humbaba shows her love for Gilgamesh, which he spurns later in the epic.


Due to the importance of justice in Mesopotamian culture, it is significant that Anu says these lines since he is the Mesopotamian king of all gods and acting judge on those who have committed crimes. The fact that he is sanctioning Gilgamesh's desire to kill Humbaba shows that he views the act as righteous and not as an affront to the gods, which many other gods believe. This validates Gilgamesh's character and portrays in him a more positive, not negative, light.

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