The second installment of our Epic of Gilgamesh, The Revenge of Ishtar, retold by Lyudmila Zeman finds Gilgamesh and his good friend, Enkidu, in the peaceful city of Uruk, spending their days planning the city and their evenings listening to Shamhat sing and playing games.
One evening the monster Humbaba attacks the palace, killing Shamhat. Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu track down the monster so he will not harm people again. They find him and both work together to slay him. The goddess Ishtar witnesses the battle and invites Gilgamesh to be her husband. Gilgamesh refuses, saying he won’t leave his people and friend for her.
Ishtar in revenge sends the Bull of Heaven to Uruk where it too wrecks havoc. Again, Gilgamesh and Enkidu team up to destroy it. Angry, Ishtar makes Enkidu sick until he dies. Enkidu is angry but he learns he “found a friendship few every know and the lasting love of a people.”
Gilgamesh, heart-broken, vows as his last quest to find the secret of immortality so he too won’t be taken from his people.
Love the pictures which are bright and vivid. The two monsters are cute and not scary at all. Very condensed version. Good lesson on the value of friendship. Nice historical background page at the end.