Part 2- Epic Hero- Gilgamesh

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Read the excerpt from Gilgamesh: A New English Version.

Gilgamesh backed away. He said,
"How dreadful Humbaba’s face has become!
It is changing into a thousand nightmare
faces, more horrible than I can bear.
I feel haunted. I am too afraid to go on."

Enkidu answered, "Why, dear friend,
do you speak like a coward? What you just said
is unworthy of you. It grieves my heart.
We must not hesitate or retreat."

Which sentence best states the theme of the excerpt?

a. People must persevere despite their fears.

Which statement is a theme?

d. True friends remain loyal despite hardship.

In Gilgamesh: A New English Version, Enkidu is a loyal companion who proves himself to be an archetype of


What topics are commonly explored in epics? Check all that apply.

b. fame and glory d. perseverance e. leadership

Consider the passage and theme.

Ria was thrilled when her doctor removed her cast. It had only been a month, but the inconvenience of wearing a cast and using crutches had been a constant challenge. She had learned that her high school, while accessible, was not easy to navigate with crutches. The stairs were treacherous, and the elevator was slow, but what bothered Ria the most were the entrances……………………………..

What other theme is addressed in the passage?

b. Considering life from a new point of view is enlightening.

In Gilgamesh: A New English Version, Gilgamesh represents an epic hero because he

c. travels on a journey and demonstrates courage.

Consider the passage and theme.

Liam’s first job at the fast-food chain was not glamorous. He worked early-morning shifts, loading biscuits into ovens and dipping countless batches of hash-browned potatoes into vats of grease. Every day he encountered harried, impolite customers and complaining coworkers; nevertheless, he maintained a positive outlook. Liam methodically completed his duties: wrapping sandwiches, filling orders, and cleaning his work space…………………………….

What other theme is addressed in the passage?

c. Hard work is often rewarded.

Consider these themes from Gilgamesh: A New English Version.

Good leaders motivate through compelling speech.

Soldiers must persevere through challenging trials.

Which statement best describes how these themes interact in the tale?

c. Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu convincingly urge each other to endure through hardship.

A literary theme is defined as

b. the message a text conveys about a topic.

Which lines from Gilgamesh: A New English Version best establish Gilgamesh as triumphant in battle?

d. They bound logs together and built a raft. Enkidu steered it down the great river. Gilgamesh carried Humbaba’s head.

Which statement is a theme?

c. Encouragement can be a source of strength.

Read the excerpt from Gilgamesh: A New English Version.

They could hear Humbaba’s terrifying roar.
Gilgamesh stopped. He was trembling. Tears
flowed down his cheeks. "O Shamash," he cried,
"protect me on this dangerous journey.
Remember me, help me, hear my prayer."
They stood and listened. A moment passed.
Then, from heaven, the voice of the god
called to Gilgamesh: "Hurry, attack,
attack Humbaba while the time is right,
before he enters the depths of the forest"

What characteristic of an epic hero does the excerpt reveal?

d. connection to the supernatural

Read the excerpt from Gilgamesh: A New English Version.

[Gilgamesh and Enkidu] charged at Humbaba like two wild bulls.
The monster let out a deafening cry,
his roar boomed forth like a blast of thunder,
he stamped and the ground burst open, his steps
split the mountains of Lebanon,
the clouds turned black, a sulfurous fog
descended on them and made their eyes ache.
Then Shamash threw strong winds at Humbaba,
the south wind, the north wind, the east and the west,
storm wind, gale wind, hurricane, tornado,
to pin him down and paralyze his steps.
He could not move forward, could not retreat.
Gilgamesh saw it, he leaped upon him,
he held a knife to Humbaba’s throat.

What characteristics of an epic hero does Gilgamesh exhibit in the excerpt? Check all that apply.

b. courage in battle d. connection to supernatural help

Read the excerpt from Gilgamesh: A New English Version.

Gilgamesh answered, "Dear friend, dear brother,
I cannot kill Humbaba alone.
Please stay here with me. Stand at my side.
‘Two boats lashed together will never sink.
A three-ply rope is not easily broken.’
If we help each other and fight side by side,
what harm can come to us?"

The author includes this excerpt to establish Gilgamesh as

a. a compelling speaker.

Consider the passage and theme.

Devin kept a low profile in school. He attended classes and talked with his friends in the hall, but few knew him well. He rarely raised his hand in class and never spoke out of turn. Even in band class, he refused to draw attention to himself. Though he had earned the honor of first-chair saxophone, he did not reveal his passion for his instrument to his classmates……………………..

What other theme is addressed in the passage?

a. People can reveal themselves through their passions.

Read the excerpt from Gilgamesh: A New English Version.

Gilgamesh dropped his axe, appalled.
Enkidu said, "Courage, dear friend,
Close your ears to Humbaba’s curses.
Don’t listen to a word. Slaughter him! Now!"

Gilgamesh, hearing his beloved friend,
came to himself.

What is the theme of the excerpt?

d. Encouragement offers powerful motivation.

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