The Epic of Gilgamesh
Perseverance Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
"I went circling through all the mountains,
I traversed treacherous mountains, and crossed all the seas—
that is why (?) sweet sleep has not mellowed my face,
through sleepless striving I am strained,
my muscles are filled with pain.
I had not yet reached the tavern-keeper's area before my clothing gave out.
I killed bear, hyena, lion, panther, tiger, stag, red-stag, and beasts of the wilderness;
I ate their meat and wrapped their skins around me.
The gate of grief must be bolted shut, sealed with pitch and bitumen!" (10.244-253)
Gilgamesh explains to Utanapishtim how he's been able to make his journey—bysealing off his emotions—which he describes metaphorically as bolting a door or caulking a ship with "pitch and bitumen" (basically tar). But does this perseverance make Gilgamesh achieve the goal of his quest—to achieve immortal life? Not quite. But maybe he gets something even better.