| Quote #4
In the middle of the night his sleep came to an end,
Poor Gilgamesh, scared of a little nightmare. (Okay, not so little. And not just one.) On the journey to the Cedar Forest to fight Humbaba, Gilgamesh is tormented every night by horrible nightmares. Each time, Enkidu is the one who steps in to interpret the dreams in a more favorable light. Do you think Enkidu really believes in the interpretations he puts forward throughout Tablet 4? Or is he just putting a brave face on things, in order to cheer up Gilgamesh? And, either way, who do you think is truly more courageous: Gilgamesh or Enkidu?
| Quote #5
"I am going to die!—am I not like Enkidu?!
After Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh becomes consumed by overpowering fear—the fear of death. Why is death something to be afraid of? Or is this just another example of the fear of the unknown? In that case, it makes sense that Gilgamesh would go on a quest to find out what death is. But Gilgamesh never finds out what death is—because everybody he encounters tells him that nobody knows what death is. So how does he end up overcoming his fear?
| Quote #6
When he reached Mount Mashu,
Is true courage never being afraid? Or is true courage being afraid, and then mastering your fear? If it's number two, Gilgamesh is definitely showing some courage here. Even though the whole point of the Scorpion-beings is to make people scared out of their wits, Gilgamesh musters up the gumption to go forward. Gilgamesh's ability to conquer his fear, even without his buddy Enkidu to egg him on, shows just how powerful the fear is that is driving him on—the fear of death. Compared to that, Scorpion-beings are a piece of cake.