“My friend, the great goddess cursed me and I must die in shame. I shall not die like a man fallen in battle; I feared to fall, but happy is the man who falls in the battle, for I must die in shame.” Sounds like Odysseus' lament when drowning.
"Gilgamesh had peeled off his clothes…" after hearing his buddy's dream. Sort of like tearing your clothing in grief. "Peeled"? Who peels off their clothes in an emotional outburst? You peel off your clothes carefully if covered in gasoline during a refueling accident or if your t-shirt is covered in sweat. Up to this point I’d been reading a version from Assyrian International News Agency Books Online www.aina.org
At this point I switched to William Muss Arnolt, "The Gilgamesh Narrative, Usually Called the Babylonian Nimrod Epic," in Assyrian and Babylonian Literature: Selected Translations, ed. Robert Francis Harper (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1901), 324-368; L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology (London: Kegan Paul, I found this translation more convincing and written in language (King James English) more to my liking.
"He clad himself in the skins of the lions " ala Heracles Who came first?
Urshinabi, the sailor of Utnapishtim - Charon, the sailor of Hades
Urshinabi removed his robes, and Gilgamesh his garments, and from them Urshinabi fashioned a sail. " Gilgamesh, naked again. This boy is really into showing off his body! Is nudity a requirement in Assyrian ritual?
Ea says, "I did not reveal the mystery of the great gods..."Thereupon Enlil arrived at a decision. Enlil went up into the ship, took me by the hand and led me out. He led out also my wife and made her kneel beside me; He turned us face to face, and standing between us, blessed us, (saying) ‘Ere this Utnapishtim was only human; But now Utnapishtim and his wife shall be lofty like unto the gods; " So because Utnapishtim knew the mysteries of the gods, instead of slaying him like the Olympian gods did Tantalus, the Assyrian dieties deified him and his wife.
"There is a plant resembling buckthorn; its thorn stings like that of a bramble. When thy hands can reach that plant, then thy hands will hold that which gives life everlasting " Assyrian Golden Bough or Moly?
"mother Ninazu, who is dark, whose white, shining body is not clothed with a garment, whose breasts were bare like stone." More nudity
"When Shamash, the hero and lord, heard this prayer, he broke open the chamber of the grave and opened the ground, and caused the spirit of Enkidu to rise out of the ground, like a wind. Gilgamesh and Enkidu hugged and kissed one another, and shared their thoughts and queries. " Like Protesialus and his wife. The description of the damned is almost cliché, the more sons, the better your position, the innonce are well kept as are the heroes and the beloved.
That whole aborted journey to Hades confuses me. I will re-read that with a third translation.