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The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

by Sinleqqiunninni

Man and the Natural World Quotes Page 4

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Quote #10

Before him there were trees of precious stones,
and he went straight to look at them.
The tree bears carnelian as its fruit,
laden with clusters (of jewels), dazzling to behold,
—it bears lapis lazuli as foliage,
bearing fruit, a delight to look upon. (9.280-285)

As soon as Gilgamesh arrives at the underside of the earth, he sees trees bearing precious stones. This is oddly appropriate to this strange realm where nobody dies—fruits made of stones presumably don't die either. That said, these trees do seem eerily unnatural. Does this mean that nature only exists where things are able to die?

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