Guided Reading Questionsfor The Epic of Gilgamesh

The following questions are meant to guide your reading of The Epic of Gilgamesh. Be prepared to discuss you answers in class

1. What are the major themes of The Epic of Gilgamesh ?

2. What is the structure of the Epic ?

3. How do events in one part of the narrative repeat or develop ideas in another part of the narrative?

4. What kind of hero is Gilgamesh? How does he compare with other heros?

5. What are the limitations of Gilgamesh?

6. Why is Enkidu created?

7. What are the limitations of Enkidu?

8. What is the significance of the hunter and the shepherds?

9. What is the significance of Shamhat, the temple prostitute?

10. Why does Gilgamesh need Enkidu?

11. Why does Enkidu constantly interpret dreams positively?

12. Why don't Gilgamesh and Enkidu spare the demon of the cedar forest?

13. How does Gilgamesh change in the course of the poem? What is the significance of these changes?

14. What has Gilgamesh achieved at the end of the poem? Why is this important?

15. How do the gods behave?

16. What is their relation to humans?

17. How much freedom do humans have? Are they merely subject to the will of these gods?