What is the importance of the following motifs: dreams, role of women, role of animals, sleep, bathing, the underworld, and the snake?

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jlcannad's profile pic

jlcannad | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

This is a huge question...I'll try to give you a few nudges.

dreams -- Gilgamesh certainly has prophetic dreams, but he is unable to translate them effectively.  First his mother and then Enkidu offer various interpretations.  In the case of Enkidu, the interpretations seem designed to get Gilgamesh to do what Enkidu wants: attack Humbaba. 

role of women -- Women take both very positive roles when they are in support positions like Gilgamesh's mother or Ziusudra's wife, but when they have power, like Inanna, they become manipulative. 

role of animals -- Animals don't have a major role.  We see the animals as symbols of purity when Enkidu is first dropped into the wilderness, but later, they are depicted as victims as Inanna falls in love with the stallion and the lion and the "spotted shepherd-bird" only to be abandoned and victimized by the goddess.

sleep -- Sleep is both healing and dangerous.  It's because Gilgamesh fell asleep that Ziusudra refused to initially help Gilgamesh.

So, in each case, there is no clear delineation between what is good or evil, what is truth or lie.  It's all so very complicated.

thank you 10 fold

i took some of the pieces and made a 90% thank you

I'm very glad that helped you get started 

jlcannad's profile pic

jlcannad | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

This is a huge question...I'll try to give you a few nudges.

dreams -- Gilgamesh certainly has prophetic dreams, but he is unable to translate them effectively.  First his mother and then Enkidu offer various interpretations.  In the case of Enkidu, the interpretations seem designed to get Gilgamesh to do what Enkidu wants: attack Humbaba. 

role of women -- Women take both very positive roles when they are in support positions like Gilgamesh's mother or Ziusudra's wife, but when they have power, like Inanna, they become manipulative. 

role of animals -- Animals don't have a major role.  We see the animals as symbols of purity when Enkidu is first dropped into the wilderness, but later, they are depicted as victims as Inanna falls in love with the stallion and the lion and the "spotted shepherd-bird" only to be abandoned and victimized by the goddess.

sleep -- Sleep is both healing and dangerous.  It's because Gilgamesh fell asleep that Ziusudra refused to initially help Gilgamesh.

So, in each case, there is no clear delineation between what is good or evil, what is truth or lie.  It's all so very complicated.

palenchs's profile pic

palenchs | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Also- don't miss the obvious. For us in the western world, the snake is, once again, responsible for man's mortality.

oldschool's profile pic

oldschool | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

This is a huge question...I'll try to give you a few nudges.

dreams -- Gilgamesh certainly has prophetic dreams, but he is unable to translate them effectively.  First his mother and then Enkidu offer various interpretations.  In the case of Enkidu, the interpretations seem designed to get Gilgamesh to do what Enkidu wants: attack Humbaba. 

role of women -- Women take both very positive roles when they are in support positions like Gilgamesh's mother or Ziusudra's wife, but when they have power, like Inanna, they become manipulative. 

role of animals -- Animals don't have a major role.  We see the animals as symbols of purity when Enkidu is first dropped into the wilderness, but later, they are depicted as victims as Inanna falls in love with the stallion and the lion and the "spotted shepherd-bird" only to be abandoned and victimized by the goddess.

sleep -- Sleep is both healing and dangerous.  It's because Gilgamesh fell asleep that Ziusudra refused to initially help Gilgamesh.

So, in each case, there is no clear delineation between what is good or evil, what is truth or lie.  It's all so very complicated.

thank you 10 fold

i took some of the pieces and made a 90% thank you

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