The Epic of Gilgamesh

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Section Analysis

How does the world's oldest story unfold? Revel in Stephen Mitchell's seamless translation, which conveys the poetry of the original fragments in elegant and modern English.

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Prologue - Book 2

Meet Gilgamesh: two-thirds divine and completely tyrannical. And meet Enkidu, the wild man who discovers the merits of civilization.
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Books 3-5

Journey to the Cedar Forest with Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Ponder "the quality of mercy" (and the merits of immortality) as they encounter Humbaba.
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Books 6-7

What happens when a goddess falls in love with you? Explore Mesopotamian social and religious mores in this episode.
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Books 8-9

How did our ancient forebears deal with grief? This episode details burial, eulogy, and other mourning rituals.
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Books 10-11

Discover how the Ancient Mesopotamians imagined the relationship between life and death as Gilgamesh comes to the end of his journey.
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General Analysis

Why does this four-thousand-year-old epic continue to resonate with modern audiences? Explore the elements that make The Epic of Gilgamesh so valuable to students of literature.

CompletionAccuracy

Accuracy is based on your most recent attempt.

Status

Your status is based on your weighted accuracy which accounts for the difficulty of the questions.

Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

Themes and Motifs

What are the dominant themes of the Epic of Gilgamesh? And what can we learn from them -- both as historical record and as literature?
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Life and death

What does it mean to conquer death? Join Gilgamesh as he chases immortality.
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Connection and intimacy

The Epic of Gilgamesh portrays a vanished world whose values nonetheless echo across millennia.
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Social-Historical Context

What can Gilgamesh teach us about the mores and religious and social hierarchies of Ancient Mesopotamia?
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Religious and cultural parallels

Gilgamesh demonstrates many parallels with other works, including the most famous artifact of the Ancient Near East: The Old Testament.
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The Ancient Near East

How did Ancient Near Eastern mores around gender, occupation, and religion inform this Epic?
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Literary Analysis

Pieced together from fragmented Sumerian and Akkadian sources and translated many times over, the Epic nonetheless retains its rich poetry.
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Character Analysis

Every hero needs a foil — especially when facing down the pantheon of Mesopotamian gods and monsters.
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