The Return is the final part of the heroic cycle or heroic quest motif.
1. The chapter begins with a test. Utnapishtim tests Gilgamesh because he claims that "All men are deceivers." What does he mean? Could this be true?
2. Gilgamesh fails the test. True or False?
3. Utnapishtim sends Urshanabi--banishes him--with Gilgamesh. So Gilgamesh now has a traveling companion and they set off for Uruk. On the way Gilgamesh learns of the plant that restores youth. When he finds this plant, what is his first inclination? What might this tell us about Gilgamesh, the King, at this point of the story? Is this a different Gilgamesh than in the opening chapter? Explain.
4. What happens to the plant? What does the serpent represent?
5. These two men return and Gilgamesh describes Uruk to Urshanabi: "One third of the whole is city, one third is garden, and one third is field, with the precinct of the goddess Ishtar" (117). Gilgamesh goes on to say that these are the parts and the precinct are all Uruk. How is this significant?
6. The Death of Gilgamesh states: ""none will leave a monument for generations to come to compare with his." Gilgamesh obviously has gained immortality after all. How?
7. What is this story about?