Male and Female in the Epic of Gilgamesh

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The deeds and struggles of Gilgamesh, legendary king of the city-state Uruk in the land of Sumer, have fascinated readers for millennia. They are preserved primarily in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the most well-known pieces of Mesopotamian literature. Studying the text draws us into an orbit that is engaging and thrilling, for it is a work of fantasy and legend that addresses some of the very existential issues with which contemporary readers still grapple. We experience the excitement of trying to penetrate the mind-set of another civilization, an ancient one—in this instance, a civilization that ultimately gave rise to our own. The studies gathered here all demonstrate Tzvi Abusch’s approach to ancient literature: to make use of the tools of literary, structural, and critical analysis in service of exploring the personal and psychological dimensions of the narration. The author focuses especially on the encounters between males and females in the story. The essays are not only instructive for understanding the Epic of Gilgamesh, they also serve as exemplary studies of ancient literature with a view to investigating streams of commonality between ancient times and ours

Table of contents

Copyright Page
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Ishtar’s Proposal and Gilgamesh’s Refusal An Interpretation of The Gilgamesh Epic, Tablet VI, Lines 1–79
Chapter 2: Gilgamesh’s Request and Siduri’s Denial, Part IThe Meaning of the Dialogue and Its Implications for the History of the Epic
Chapter 3: Gilgamesh’s Request and Siduri’s Denial,Part II An Analysis and Interpretation of an Old Babylonian Fragment about Mourning and Celebration
Chapter 4: Mourning the Death of a Friend:Some Assyriological Notes
Chapter 5: The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Homeric Epics
Chapter 6: The Development and Meaning of the Epic of Gilgamesh An Interpretive Essay
Chapter 7: The Courtesan, the Wild Man, and the Hunter Studies in the Literary History of the Epic of Gilgamesh
Chapter 8: Hunting in the Epic of Gilgamesh: Speculations on the Education of a Prince
Chapter 9: The Tale of the Wild Man and the Courtesan in India and Mesopotamia The Seductions of Ṛśyaśṛṅga in the Mahābhārata and Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh

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