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Product_catalog : School : LitLink : Grade07 : The Epic of Gilgamesh
Interactive Literature Selections

Investigate, Inquire, and Imagine

1a. What characteristics does Gilgamesh possess? Why was Enkidu created? What characteristics does Enkidu possess?

2a. What did the speaker do every day?

3a. Who is Utnapishtim, and what unusual quality does he have? What two challenges does he give Gilgamesh?

4a. What errors or rash deeds do Gilgamesh and Enkidu commit, and why? What are the consequences?

5a. Do you agree with the god Shamash's statement that the "fitting concern of [humans]" is to "fill your belly. Make merry. Dance and feast by day and night. Look at the child who holds your hand, and make your [partner] happy..."? In other words, in your opinion, is the role of humans simply to enjoy life on earth? What other purposes do you think humans should strive to fulfill?

1b. Why do Gilgamesh and Enkidu develop such a strong friendship?

2b. What do Ishtar's actions tell you about her character?

3b. How was Gilgamesh successful or unsuccessful? What does his success or failure signify for humans?

4b. What events in nature does this story explain? What view of humans does this story express? What view of the gods does this story express?

5b. Medical science has enabled humans to live longer and longer lives. What if humans were someday able to extend their own lives indefinitely due to the use of high technology? Do you think that would be a good thing toward which to strive? Why, or why not? What might society be like if we had eternal life on earth? What might be some of the advantages and disadvantages of eternal life?

Understanding Literature

Central Conflict. What is the central conflict of "The Epic of Gilgamesh"? What did you find to be the most dramatic part of this conflict? What event introduces this conflict? How is this conflict resolved?

Irony. Although Gilgamesh is not entirely successful in his quest, Utnapishtim directs Gilgamesh to the prize he desires. How is what happens to this prize ironic? Whose expectations are contradicted?

Graphic Organizer

In Understanding Literature, you identified the central conflict of "The Epic of Gilgamesh." What are some other elements of the story? Read the Language Arts Survey 1.15, "Using Graphic Aids." Use the story map below to chart the main elements of "The Epic of Gilgamesh."

Story Map: "The Epic of Gilgamesh"
Setting
Mood
Conflict
Plot
Characters
Themes

Writer's Journal

1. Imagine that you are Ishtar and that you have decided to change your ways. Write a list of New Year's resolutions.

2. To help Gilgamesh, write a petition to the gods formally requesting eternal life on earth for all humans. Be sure to use formal, polite language, and give several reasons why you believe your request should be granted.

3. Imagine that Gilgamesh had been able to gain eternal life, but only for himself, and were still alive today. Write a letter he might have written to his friend Enkidu, explaining whether he is happy with how the world has changed and how he feels now about his "gift" of immortality.

Skill Builders

Language, Grammar, and Style

Using Quotation Marks. Add quotation marks (and capital letters) to the following sentences where needed. If the sentence has no errors, write Correct.

Example The scorpion asked why have you journeyed thus far to us?
The scorpion asked, "Why have you journeyed thus far to us?"

1. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a retelling of a myth from ancient Mesopotamia.

2. Anu said that the Bull of Heaven would cause a seven-year drought.

3. Enkidu told Gilgamesh, I dreamed that Enlil said I would die.

4. Gilgamesh cried, Enkidu, Enkidu.

5. Siduri said, Gilgamesh, you should dance and feast and make merry.

6. Utnapishtim asked, who will grant you eternal life?

7. Gilgamesh said he did not know what to do.

8. Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh that he had a gift for him.

9. Gilgamesh found a special plant called The-Old-Man-Will-Be-Made-Young.

10. Finally, Gilgamesh wrote a poem and called it No Human Is Immortal.

Study and Research

Flood Stories in the Oral Tradition: Many cultures around the world have flood stories similar to the one in this myth. You may already be familiar with the biblical story of Noah and the flood. Stories of floods also appeared in ancient India, China, Greece, and America. Go to the library and locate other traditional flood stories to bring into class. Then, hold a class reading of these stories and discuss the similarities and differences among these tales. Why do you think flood stories were so common among the ancient peoples of many different lands?
Research Log. Use this log to keep track of the sources you use, the information you find, and your reactions to what you learn.

Books and print sources:

Internet sources:

Why do you think flood stories were so common among the ancient peoples of many different lands?

Applied English

Researching Careers: When Gilgamesh loses his best friend Enkidu, he grieves for seven days and nights. When people lose loved ones today, they have counseling options available to help them through the grief. Do some research on jobs in the field of grief counseling. You may use resources such as your school guidance counselor, the local library, or the Internet. Which jobs are available? What personal qualities would a person need to pursue these careers? What training or schooling would be necessary?
Research Log
. Use this log to keep track of the sources you use, the information you find, and your reactions to what you learn.

Books and print sources:

Internet sources:

Which jobs are available? What personal qualities would a person need to pursue these careers? What training or schooling would be necessary?

Vocabulary

Synonyms. Choose the letter of the word that is a synonym of the word given.

Example:
WREST C
a. relax
b. challenge
c. pull
d. stare

1. TALON

2. OPPRESS

3. VAIN

4. TRANSGRESSOR

5. STREW

6. INTOLERABLE

7. DEMUR

8. COWER

9. TEMPESTUOUS

10. EBB

Prereading page
About the Author page
Reading Strategies page
Vocabulary from the Selection page
Guided Reading Questions page
Postreading Worksheet page
Test Practice page
Internet Resource Center page
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