The Epic of Gilgamesh

Explain how Humbaba tires to avoid death. How do Enkidu and shamash help Gigamesh to kill Humbaba?

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In the heat of the battle, Gilgamesh pleads for help from Shamash. Shamash hears him and unleashes thirteen storms against Humbaba. Humbaba is subdued by this divine onslaught, and Gilgamesh is able to overtake him. Humbaba pleads for mercy and says he knows Gilgamesh is Ninsun’s son. He pledges to become his servant if Gilgamesh will only spare his life. Gilgamesh considers this, but Enkidu shouts out and tells Gilgamesh to kill Humbaba quickly.

Humbaba curses Enkidu for this. He suggests that Enkidu is jealous and fearful that Humbaba will supplant him in Gilgamesh’s affections. Humbaba reminds them that he is the servant of Enlil, the god of earth, wind, and air—a greater divinity by far than Shamash. If Gilgamesh kills him, he will bring a curse down upon himself. Enkidu ignores these warnings and tells Gilgamesh to hurry up and kill Humbaba before Enlil finds out what they are up to and tries to stop them. Only by killing Humbaba and stealing his cedars can they guarantee their fame. Thus, Humbaba dies.