Search: Quiz 2 (Fall 2018) Evaluation

No one received the maximum score of fifteen. One respondent, however, received fourteen. The average for the quiz was 9.8. Here are the results:

Question Number who selected the
[best answer]
Number who selected [other
Setting 14 [3] 0 [1], 5 [2, one point], 2 [4, two points]
Gilgamesh 0 [1], 1 [2], 20 [3] 0 [4, two points]
Enkidu 4 [1], 17 [3] 0 [2, two points], 0 [4]
Expedition 17 [4] 3 [1], 0 [2], 1 [3]
Defeating Humbaba 16 [2] 3 [1], 0 [3], 2 [4]

The setting of “He who saw the Deep” is

1. Babylon [0]
2. Mesopotamia [1]
3. Uruk [3]
4. The Forest of Cedars [2]

As you will see on pages lviii-lix of George’s edition of the epic, Babylon is another city. “Mesopotamia” was worth one point because it refers to the entire region that encompasses Uruk (as well as Babylon). “The Forest of Cedars” was a better answer and worth two points, because it is more specific, and because part of the narrative you read for today takes place there. The best answer was “Uruk,” because (1) Gilgamesh was a “brave scion of Uruk” (I.30); (2) he “built the rampart of Uruk-the-Sheepfold, of holy Eanna, the sacred storehouse” (I.11-12), and because majority of reading assignment for today takes place in Uruk.

Gilgamesh is

1. Partly divine because the Mother Goddess mixed the blood of a god with clay when she made human beings. [3]
2. A mortal human being. [3]
3. Two-thirds god and one-third human. [3]
4. Considered a god by his subjects because of his height, beauty, and strength. [2]

Although we will encounter a number of figures this semester whom we might consider half god and half human, i.e., they are the offspring of a god and human, Gilgamesh is not. The first response was correct and worth three points. He is, in fact, partly divine both because his mother is the goddess Ninsun and because his father, Lugalbanda, shares in the divine element that Ea mixed into the substance from which she created human beings. (See I.35-36: “Wild bull of Lugalbanda, Gilgamesh, the perfect in strength, / suckling of the august Wild Cow, the goddess Ninsun!”) The Atra-Hasis tablets record that the flesh and blood of the god Geshtu-E provided the divine element in the clay mixture. Although his mother, Ninsun, plays an active role in Gilgamesh’s life, his father, Lugalbanda, is of little significance in this epic. The second response is also correct because Gilgamesh is mortal, although this description would apply to all human beings. It was worth three points because his mortality is the focus of the second half of the epic. The third response was the most accurate and worth three points. The poem states, “Gilgamesh was his name from the day he was born, / two-thirds of him god and one third human. (I.47-48). The last response is partially correct and worth two points. The text repeatedly refers to his stature, which seems to surpass the human norms, e.g., “Surpassing all other kings, heroic in stature” (I.29), “It was the Lady of the Gods drew the form of his figure, / while his build was perfected by divine Nudimmud” (I.49-50), and “He has no equal when his weapons are brandished” (I.65). The text also compares him to a god: “In Uruk they held regular festivals of sacrifice, / young men made merry, set up a champion: / for the fellow whose features were fair, / for Gilgamesh, like a god, was set up a rival.” (P.190-195). However, this response refers to the impression of his peers, not his actual nature.

The gods had Aruru create Enkidu

1. To provide Gilgamesh with a friend and counsellor. [3]
2. To protect the young women from Gilgamesh. [2]
3. To be an equal to Gilgamesh in strength and challenge him. [3]
5. To protect the herds of animals from hunters. [0]

The question refers to the actions of the gods who called upon Aruru to create Enkidu and their reasons. The text records their words, “‘[Let] them (i.e., the gods) summon [Aruru,] the great one, / [she it was created them,] mankind to numerous: / [let her create the equal of Gilgamesh,] one mighty in strength, / [and let] him vie [with him,] so Uruk may be rested!'” (MB Ni-iv). Consequently, the third response is the most accurate. The first response reflects Ninun’s perspective on the role of Enkidu: “and I, Ninsun, I shall make him your equal. / A might comrade will come to you, and be his friend’s saviour” (I.290-291). One might consider her to be one of the gods, but her maternal desires are ultimately a subset of the larger group’s. The second response is also correct, but represents a narrower objective or view. It was just one of needs to which the gods were responding. The last response was incorrect, although Enkidu did protect the wild animals by thwarting the efforts of the hunter and his son, who says: “‘[ He fills in the] pits that I [myself] dig, / [he pulls up] the snares that I lay. / [He sets free from my grasp] all the beasts of the field, / [he stops] me doing the work of the wild'” (I.130-133). It describes one outcome of the Enkidu’s creation, but the gods did not have Aruru create Enkidu for that specific reason.

Gilgamesh seeks to slay Humbaba because

1. He plans to build a temple to Shamash and needs the lumber from the forest Humbaba guards. [0]
2. Humbaba was responsible, in part, for the death of Gilgamesh’s father, Lugalbanda. [0]
3. He is restless and establish a name for himself by accomplishing a great act. [3]
4. Enkidu feels sorrowful, weak, and, from Gilgamesh’s perspective, needs a challenge. [3]

The poem mentions cutting down the cedars in Y.186, III.32, V.293 and IM 21-22. In return for sparing his life Humbaba promises Gilgamesh: “Spare my life, O Gilgamesh, . . . , / let me dwell here for you in [the Forest of Cedar!] / ‘Trees as many as you command. . . , I will guard you myrtle, . . . / timber to be the pride of [your] palace!’” And in a passage beginning with V.294 the poem records:

‘My friend, we have felled a lofty cedar,
whose top thrust up to the sky.
‘I will make a door, six rods in height, two rods in
breadth, one cubit in thickness,
whose pole and pivots, top and bottom, will be all
of a piece.’

Enkidu also curses the door in in VII.39-63. The poem does not mention the of building a temple with the wood from the Cedar Forest for Shamash or any other god. The second response is also incorrect. Neither the poem nor any of the other surviving narratives about Lugalbanda suggest that Humbaba ever encountered Gilgamesh’s father or had anything to do with his death. The third and fourth responses both accurately describe what happens in the poem. For example, the second tablet Gilgamesh addresses Enkidu (Y14-18):

‘Why do you desire to do this thing?
. . . anything . . . do you want so much?
Let me . . ., a feat that never was done in the land.’
They kissed each other and formed a friendship.

And again in (230-241):

Gilgamesh opened his mouth to speak,
saying [to Enkidu:]
‘Why, my friend, do you speak like a weakling?
With your spineless words you [make me] despondent.
‘As for man, [his days] are numbered,
whatever he may do, it is but wind, . . .exists not for me. . .
‘You were born and grew up [in the wild:]
even lions were afraid of you, [you experienced] all.
Grown men fled away [from your presence,]
your heart is tried and [tested in] combat.
‘Come, my friend, [let us hie] to the forge!’

Gilgamesh and Enkidu were able to defeat Humbaba because

1. The two of them together could overpower Humbaba. [0]
2. Shamash sent thirteen winds against Humbaba. [3]
3. Gilgamesh and Enkidu had forged new superior weapons. [0]
4. Enkidu knew about Humbaba’s lair and planned an ambush. [0]

Gilgamesh and Enkidu undertake the expedition thinking that the two of them can overpower Humbaba. They initially lose heart. Enkidu exclaims: “‘A tempest’s onslaught is [ferocious Humbaba!] / [Like” the god of the storm he will trample us down'” (V.83-84), and Gilgamesh cries: “‘Though boldly we came up to his lair to defeat him, / yet my heart will not quickly. . . .(V.96-97). After they engage in battle, Shamash’s intervention ultimately enables them to defeat Humbaba. Consequently, the second response was accurate and worth three points. Lines 162-171 from the Yale tablet describe their casting weapons, but the poem does not suggest that these weapons will play a decisive role in the outcome of the battle. In III.6-7 we read that the elders of Uruk pronounce, “Let Enkidu go before you, / he knows the journey to the Forest of Cedar.” The poem does not suggest, however, that Enkidu had any special knowledge of Humbaba’s lair or that he planned an ambush.

Leave a Reply