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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Characters

Meet the Cast

Gilgamesh

The hero of our tale: a cocky, selfish young king who befriends a half man/half beast, goes on fantastic adventures with him. When his new, beloved friend dies, Gilgamesh realizes there's no room i...

Enkidu

Half-man/half-beast bestie of Gilgamesh. He basically symbolizes the natural, non-civilized world. He faces an early death as punishment from the gods for all the trouble that he and Gilgamesh got...

Utanapishtim

A human given immortality who lives on the other side of earth—literally. Gilgamesh visits him to discover the secret of immortality, but ends up empty-handed.The Gods Told You What?Utanapishtim...

Shamhat

Even though she only appears in Tablets 1 and 2 (plus getting cursed and blessed in Tablet 7), Shamhat is a major female character who plays a pivotal role in the story. She uses her wily woman's w...

Ishtar

Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, has a small, devastating role in the epic. She basically lets all fire and brimstone loose, which leads to a clash with Enkidu and Gilgamesh, which in turn lead...

Siduri

She runs the bar in hell, so to speak. And, depending on what version you read, she may or may not give Gilgamesh some advice on what matters most in life.Bar Wench ExtraordinaireSiduri is the tave...

Humbaba

Humbaba is the monster who guards the Cedar Forest. Being a monster and all, he isn't the most complicated character, although he can do a neat trick where he changes his faces, and apparently it i...

Ninsun

The mother of Gilgamesh. And, for heaven's sake, don't take parenting advice from this gal.Gilgamesh's father, Lugalbanda, was a mortal human, dead before the beginning of the epic. Much like Theti...

Shamash

The Sun-god and Gilgamesh's main go-to-god.It must be nice to have a personal god. Shamash, the sun-god, basically seems to hang around to help out Gilgamesh and Enkidu. We first get important sign...

Anu

Anu is the sky-god in Mesopotamian mythology and the doting daddy of Ishtar.Being the sky-god and all, Anu probably has a lot on his plate. So, he doesn't have a very big role in The Epic of Gilgam...

Enlil

Enlil is the king of the gods and the one who grants immortality to the Utanapishtims.As you might expect for a king of the gods, Enlil is a little hard to figure out. In Tablet 2, when Gilgamesh t...

Utanapishtim's Wife

Nice, also immortal, wife of the grumpy immortal dude. She bakes bread and urges Utanapishtim to tell Gilgamesh about the plant that makes you young again.Utanapishtim's wife has a small role in th...

Ea

Trickster god who keeps Utanapishtim from dying in the flood by giving him the inside scoop on Ea's flood plans.The god Ea features in the Flood story on Tablet 11. According to Utanapishtim, Ea he...

Aruru

Goddess who makes Enkidu and places him in the wilderness.Although she has a very important role in Mesopotamian mythology (she was the creator of humankind), Aruru has a very small role in the Epi...

Trapper

The trapper has a very small part in the story. Basically, his purpose is to bring Shamhat into the wilderness, thus setting in motion the chain of events that makes Enkidu become human and leads t...

The Trapper's Father

We meet the trapper's father after the trapper gets freaked out by seeing Enkidu at the watering hole. The trapper goes to his dad to ask him for advice. His dad tells him to go to Uruk and get Gil...

Antum

The goddess Antum is the wife of Anu, the sky-god. We see her briefly in Tablet 6, when Ishtar goes up to the heavens to borrow the Bull of Heaven, in order to punish Gilgamesh for rejecting her. (...
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