| Quote #4
On entering the House of Dust,
Here, Enkidu is still going on about his spooky dream. This time, the emphasis isn't so much on how the underworld totally stinks, as much as on the fact that absolutely everybody has to go there. When the most powerful people on earth are reduced to the role of table servants in the underworld … well, that's a powerful message about the equalizing power of death.
| Quote #5
May the …, the cypress, and the cedar which we destroyed(?) in our anger mourn you.
Is someone cutting onions nearby? This is Gilgamesh mourning Enkidu, obvs, and boy does it bring a tear to our eye. Does the fact that Gilgamesh is calling on animals and plants to lament his friend undercut his argument that being remembered after you die makes dying OK? After all, if Gilgamesh is calling on the entire universe to lament Enkidu, doesn't that suggest that it isn't enough for ordinary people to lament him?
| Quote #6
My friend, the swift mule, fleet wild ass of the mountain, panther of the wilderness,
Even though Gilgamesh's words are about how Enkidu is dead, it still doesn't seem like he totally accepts this fact—he is still talking to a dead guy, after all. This becomes even more clear at the end of this passage, when Gilgamesh touches Enkidu's heart—as though he were trying to see if, by some miracle, Enkidu wasn't actually dead. Ancient Sumerians: they're just like us.