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Utnapishtim
 They later travel for three more days and arrive at the waters of death. Upon reaching his destination, the realm of the dead, Gilgamesh was disappointed. He found that Utnapishtim and his immortality for were in no way special. Utnapishtim had attained longevity after being ranked together with the gods, becoming half man half plant. Gilgamesh did not want this as he wanted to maintain human attributes and rejected living forever with no appetite. Similar to what Siduri had told him, Utnapishtim tells him that his quest for immortality was futile as ‘there is no permanence’ and the gods and divine judges determine our fate. Upon request, he tells the story of how he attained immortality. He said that, according to Enlil. Human beings had overstepped their limits. They had built loud cities that interfered with the gods’ sleep. This Enlil was infuriated by this and plans to drown the entire humanity in a huge flood. A different god, ea, who did not share Enlil’s idea of punishment, warns Utnapishtim in a dream. Utnapishtim is instructed to build a boat with specific measurements and dimensions. The boat was launched into the waters with only Utnapishtim’s gold his children and wives, other family members and some animals. Later on, the storm starts and rages on continuously for six days and nights. After all calms down Utnapishtim works to find a place to land on, he eventually does and in so doing avoids his prescribed fate. ‘I (Utnapishtim) released a dove from the boat, it flew off, but circled around and returned, for it could find no perch…..i released a raven from the perch, it flew off and the raven had receded.’ Utnaphisitim is then placed far away by Enlil, at the river mouths and blesses him with immortality, in the following words,’ At one time Utnaphisitim was mortal. At this time let him be god and immortal, let him live far away at the source of all the rivers’ .  Gilgamesh is given a test, one that has no need for physical strength. He is challenged to go for six days and nights without sleep, a task that is difficult to any human. It is thus his humanity that makes him fail that test. Gilgamesh is then given the secret to becoming immortal without using the god’s mercy. It is through consuming the herb that was found deep in the waters. He did not plan to consume it himself but rather keep it as a rare treasure to decorate his safe. He returned above ground with a new and inexplicable state of mind.  He felt that there was no longer need for immortality designed by the gods. He was happy at his own realization and even came out believing that he could beat death and avenge his brother. The rugged state suddenly fazes him and wished to cleanse himself before he would return to Uruk. He rests on a spring, to recover from the fatigue he had accumulated during the decades of searching. The water healed him, and he experiences what can be described to him as his genuine feeling of joy, he attains tranquility in the body and in mind. (Brown, 2017)  It was at this moment that the herb he had carried was snatched away by a snake, but he did not seem to care.  The snake took in the herb and immediately started shedding; this indicated its restoration of youthfulness.

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