The Epic of Gilgamesh
Fear Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
"Urshanabi, this plant is a plant against decay(?)
by which a man can attain his survival(?).
I will bring it to Uruk-Haven,
and have an old man eat the plant to test it.
The plant's name is 'The Old Man Becomes a Young Man.'
Then I will eat it and return to the condition of my youth." (11.279-291)
Why doesn't Gilgamesh eat the plant straightaway? Does he mistrust Utanapishtim? Clearly he trusted him enough to attach stones to his feet and dive down to the bottom of the sea in search of the plant. Is this a case of the devil you know (doing daring deeds) versus the devil you don't know (eating some weird flower)? We don't know. But Gilgamesh's hesitation might show a development in his character, as he becomes more thoughtful and less reckless over the course of his adventures.