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Quotes

Quote #10

At twenty leagues they broke for some food,
at thirty leagues they stopped for the night.
They arrived in Uruk-Haven.
Gilgamesh said to Urshanabi, the ferryman:
"Go up, Urshanabi, onto the wall of Uruk and walk around.
Examine its foundation, inspect its brickwork thoroughly—
is not (even the core of) the brick structure of kiln-fired brick,
and did not the Seven Sages themselves lay out its plan?
One league city, one league palm gardens, one league lowlands, the open area(?) of the Ishtar
Temple,
three leagues and the open area(?) of Uruk it (the wall) encloses." (11.310-319)

The end. These are the last lines of the entire epic, when Gilgamesh welcomes Urshanabi, the ferryman of the underworld, to Uruk. Clearly, Gilgamesh takes a lot of pride in his city. But is it the same sort of pride he felt at the beginning of the epic? Notice how Gilgamesh points out that the "Seven Sages themselves" laid out the plan of the city. In other words, Gilgamesh isn't taking credit for all the good stuff in Uruk—he is giving credit where credit is due. How might this change in focus be connected to the main arc of Gilgamesh's character over the course of the epic?

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