In the poem Gilgamesh and Enkidu defeat the Bull of Heaven.

What does Gilgamesh learn from this story about the nature of human beings and of the gods?

But Gilgamesh said to Siduri, the young woman, 'How can I be silent,how can I rest, when Enkidu whom I love is dust, and I too shall dieand be laid in the earth. You live by the sea-shore and look into theheart of it; young woman, tell me now, which is the way to Utnapishtim,the son of Ubara-Tutu? What directions are there for the passage; giveme, oh, give me directions. I will cross the Ocean if it is possible;if it is not I will wander still farther in the wilderness.' Thewine-maker said to him, 'Gilgamesh, there is no crossing the Ocean;whoever has come, since the days of old, has not been able to pass thatsea. The Sun in his glory crosses the Ocean, but who beside Shamash hasever crossed it? The place and the passage are difficult, and thewaters of death are deep which flow between. Gilgamesh, how will youcross the Ocean? When you come to the waters of death what will you do?But Gilgamesh, down in the woods you will find Urshanabi, the ferrymanof Utnapishtim; with him are the holy things, the things of stone. Heis fashioning the serpent prow of the boat. Look at him well, and if itis possible, perhaps you will cross the waters with him; but if it isnot possible, then you must go back.'



I understand the large hearts of heroes,
The courage of present times and all times,
How the skipper saw the crowded and rudderless wreck of the
steamship, and Death chasing it up and down the storm,
How he knuckled tight and gave not back an inch, and was faithful of
days and faithful of nights,
And chalk'd in large letters on a board, Be of good cheer, we will
not desert you;
How he follow'd with them and tack'd with them three days and
would not give it up,
How he saved the drifting company at last,
How the lank loose-gown'd women look'd when boated from the
side of their prepared graves,
How the silent old-faced infants and the lifted sick, and the
sharp-lipp'd unshaved men;
All this I swallow, it tastes good, I like it well, it becomes mine,
I am the man, I suffer'd, I was there.

She answered, 'Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to? You will neverfind that life for which you are looking. When the gods created manthey allotted to him death, but life they retained in their ownkeeping. As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; dayand night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Letyour clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the littlechild that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace;for this too is the lot of man.'

Humbaba approaches and they fight; Humbaba begs for his life, but they cut off his head.

Ishtar opened her mouth and said again, 'My father, give me the Bullof Heaven to destroy Gilgamesh. Fill Gilgamesh, I say, with arroganceto his destruction; but if you refuse to give me the Bull of Heaven Iwill break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will beconfusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. Ishall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts ofdead will outnumber the living.' Anusa d to great Ishtar, 'If I do whatyou desire there will be seven years of drought throughout Uruk whencorn will be seedless husks. Have you saved grain enough for the peopleand grass for the cattle? Ishtar replied. 'I have saved grain for thepeople, grass for the cattle; for seven years o£ seedless husks,there is grain and there is grass enough.'

[tags: the Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]

When Ishtar heard this she fell into a bitter rage, she went up tohigh heaven. Her tears poured down in front of her father Anu, andAntum her mother. She said, 'My father, Gilgamesh has heaped insults onme, he has told over all my abominable behaviour, my foul and hideousacts.' Anu opened his mouth and said, 'Are you a father of gods? Didnot you quarrel with Gilgamesh the king, so now he has related yourabominable behaviour, your foul and hideous acts.'

This is no different in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey.

The Bull of Heaven is also an enemy of Gilgamesh sent as a punishment for his arrogance.

At the core of Gilgamesh’s desire resides his inability to accept the inevitability of death, making his rationality behind the pursuit of immortality ignorant and selfish.

Working together again, Gilgamesh and Enkidu slay the mighty bull.

The people collected and the counsellors in the streets and in themarket-place of Uruk; they came through the gate of seven bolts andGilgamesh spoke to them in the market-place: 'I, Gilgamesh, go to seethat creature of whom such things are spoken, the rumour of whose namefills the world. I will conquer him in his cedar wood and show thestrength of the sons of Uruk, all the world shall. know of it. I amcommitted to this enterprise: to climb the mountain, to cut down thecedar, and leave behind me an enduring name.' The counsellors of Uruk;the great market, answered him, 'Gilgamesh, you are young, your couragecarries you too far, you cannot know what this enterprise means whichyou plan. We have heard that Hurnbaba is not like men who die, hisweapons are such that none can stand against them; the forest stretchesfor ten thousand leagues in every direction; who would willingly godown to explore its depths? As for Humbaba, when he roars it is likethe torrent of the storm, his breath is like fire and his jaws aredeath itself. Why do you crave to do this thing, Gilgamesh? It is noequal struggle when one fights with Humbaba, that battering-ram:


Godchecker guide to GILGAMESH: Famous Sumerian and Akkadian hero. Gilgamesh is the Mesopotamian Hero God and comes from the mythology of …

So Shamash accepted the sacrifice of his tears; like thecompassionate man he showed him mercy. He appointed strong allies forGilgamesh, sons of one mother, and stationed them in the mountaincaves. The great winds he appointed: the north wind, the whirlwind, thestone and the icy wind, the tempest and the scorching wind. Like 'vipers, like dragons, like a scorching fire, like a serpent thatfreezes the heart, a destroying flood and the lightning's fork, suchwere they and Gilgamesh rejoiced.

The two also manage to kill the Bull of Heaven, ..

When he heard these words of the counsellors Gilgamesh looked at hisfriend and laughed, 'How shall I answer them; shall I say I am afraidof Humbaba, I will sit at home all the rest of my days?' Then Gilgameshopened his mouth again and said to Enkidu, 'My friend, let us go to theGreat Palace, to Egalmah, and stand before Ninsun the queen. Ninsun iswise with deep knowledge, she will give us counsel for the road we mustgo.' They took each other by the hand as they went to Egalmah, and theywent to Ninsun the great queen. Gilgamesh approached, he entered thepalace and spoke to Ninsun. 'Ninsun, will you listen to me; I have along journey to go, to the Land of Humbaba, I must travel an unknownroad and fight a strange battle. From the day I go until I return, tillI reach the cedar forest and destroy the evil which Shamash abhors,pray for me to Shamash.'

Enkidu and Gilgamesh killed the bull of heaven.

Budge states in Babylonian Story of the Deluge and the Epic of Gilgamesh that the narration of the Flood in Sumero-Babylonian records may simply be related to a local flood instead of a worldwide Flood such as the Bible narrates: It is not too much to assume that the original event commemorated in the Legend of the De...