| Quote #7
The eleventh and twelfth day his illness grew ever worse.
Unfortunately, the tablet on which this passage appears is broken in several places. Still, we get the general idea: Enkidu thinks that Gilgamesh, who once stood at his side in battle, is abandoning him. Sure, he's probably reacting to the fact that Gilgamesh can't save him from the disease that is ravaging his body. But how would Gilgamesh do that? Do these words by Enkidu show that he does not truly understand how life works? Or should we just cut a dying man some slack?
| Quote #8
"May the holy River Ulaja, along whose banks we grandly used to stroll, mourn you.
Gilgamesh's lament over Enkidu is no exception to the poem's interest in what makes the good life. Take a look at the things he is listing: nice walks along the River Ulaja, triumphing in battle, singing, eating butter and drinking beer, and so on. Isn't this basically a catalog of the good things in life? Why do you think Enkidu's death makes Gilgamesh think of these things? And why does he want all of these things to partake in his grief for his friend?
| Quote #9
He covered his friend's face like a bride,
Right after Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh swoops in to protect him. And yet, why would one bother protecting something that isn't even living? What is it about us humans that makes us take care of our dead, as if the dead somehow knew what we were doing?