After the death of Enkidu in The Revenge of Ishtar, Gilgamesh is in despair and distraught. Afraid of death, Gilgamesh decides to find the secret to immortality in The Last Quest of Gilgamesh by Ludmila Zeman.
Guided by the spirit of Shamhat, Gilgamesh sets off to the Mashu Mountains where he rescues a lion cub. Helped by scorpions and traversing a desert, Gilgamesh meets a woman named Siduri who warns him to give up his quest and stay with him for he will only meet with death. Determined, Gilgamesh continues through the Waters of Death to the island where Utnapishtim lives, a man made immortal by the gods when he saved all the animals in a flood (think Noah).
Utnaptishtim tells Gilgamesh if he can stay awake for 6 days and 7 nights he will have immortality as well. Gilgamesh fails and feeling sorry for him, Utnaptishtim tells him to retrieve the Plant of Life which will make him young again. Gilgamesh retrieves the plant from the bottom of the sea but it is eaten by a serpent.
Enkidu in the form of an eagle returns to Gilgamesh and flies him over his great city of Uruk. “Here, Gilgamesh, is the immortality you have sought. The city you built, the courage you showed, the good you have done. You will live in the hearts of people forever.”
Great story of the true meaning of immortality. It’s not life itself, but the life you bring to others that is important. Great conclusion. Fabulous pictures. Not to miss!