The Wrath of the Gods
Gilgamesh expresses his jealousytowards the gods and the immortality they enjoy. He and Enkidu learnfirsthand that incurring the wrath of the gods can have disastrousconsequences. Rather than wise, omniscient beings, the gods in Gilgameshare vengeful and easily angered. Gilgamesh and Enkidu first encounterthis wrath after Gilgamesh rejects Ishtar’s advances. Ishtar immediatelyturns to her father, Anu, to send the Bull of Heaven to punishGilgamesh. At first, Anu rejects Ishtar’s request but she threatens toraise the dead to devour the living. Anu is frightened by Ishtar’sthreat and releases the Bull of Heaven to appease her. When Gilgameshand Enkidu slay the Bull of Heaven, they further insult Ishtar bythrowing the Bull’s hindquarters at her face. Enkidu later dreams thatthe gods have decided that he must die for these transgressions. Aftertwelve days of suffering, he dies a painful death.
Utnapishtimalso tells Gilgamesh the story of a great flood exacted on the people ofShurrupak. Ea informs Utnapishtim of the coming flood and instructs himto build a great boat and to stock that boat with all the creatures ofthe land. It is important to note that when Utnapishtim asks Ea aboutwhy the flood is coming and about whathe should tell the people ofShurrupak, Ea has no specific answer for him, stating only that Enlil isangry. This suggests that the wrath of the gods can also be incurredwithout any obvious insult or explanation.
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