The Epic of Gilgamesh

Enlil Character Analysis

As he is presented in the epic, Enlil is a proud and impulsive god. Irritated by the noisiness of human cities, he convinces the other gods that mankind should be destroyed by a flood. Only after the other gods feel regret does Enlil learn to accept his place—he is superior to mankind, but doesn’t have the authority to destroy it.

Enlil Quotes in The Epic of Gilgamesh

The The Epic of Gilgamesh quotes below are all either spoken by Enlil or refer to Enlil. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Civilization and the Fall from Innocence Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Epic of Gilgamesh published in 1960.
Part 1 Quotes

When Enkidu was thrown he said to Gilgamesh, ‘There is not another like you in the world. Ninsun, who is as strong as a wild ox in the byre, she was the mother who bore you, and now you are raised above all men, and Enlil has given you the kingship, for your strength surpasses the strength of men’. So Enkidu and Gilgamesh embraced and their friendship was sealed.

Related Characters: Enkidu (speaker), Gilgamesh, Ninsun, Enlil
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 5 Quotes

In those days the world teemed, the people multiplied, the world bellowed like a wild bull, and the great god was aroused by the clamour. Enlil heard the clamour and he said to the gods in council, “The uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible by reason of the babel.” So the gods agreed to exterminate mankind.

Related Characters: Utnapishtim (speaker), Gilgamesh, Enlil
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 7 Quotes

In those days the lord Gilgamesh departed, the son of Ninsun, the king, peerless, without an equal among men, who did not neglect Enlil his master. O Gilgamesh, lord of Kullab, great is thy praise.

Related Characters: Gilgamesh, Ninsun, Enlil
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Enlil Character Timeline in The Epic of Gilgamesh

The timeline below shows where the character Enlil appears in The Epic of Gilgamesh. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: The Forest Journey
Civilization and the Fall from Innocence Theme Icon
Heroism in Nature vs. Comfort in the City Theme Icon
Friendship, Love, and Sexuality Theme Icon
Mortality and Meaning Theme Icon
Pride and the Gods Theme Icon
The father of the Gods, “Enlil of the mountain,” is responsible for Gilgamesh’s fate. Gilgamesh has a dream, and Enkidu interprets... (full context)
Civilization and the Fall from Innocence Theme Icon
Heroism in Nature vs. Comfort in the City Theme Icon
Friendship, Love, and Sexuality Theme Icon
Pride and the Gods Theme Icon
...Humbaba’s body as an offering and kiss the ground. But when he sees Humbaba’s head, Enlil is angry. He curses them, declaring “may the fire be on your faces, may it... (full context)
Part 3: Ishtar and Gilgamesh, and the Death of Enkidu
Civilization and the Fall from Innocence Theme Icon
Heroism in Nature vs. Comfort in the City Theme Icon
Friendship, Love, and Sexuality Theme Icon
Mortality and Meaning Theme Icon
Pride and the Gods Theme Icon
...of the two (Enkidu and Gilgamesh) must die. Shamash argues with the others, saying that Enlil ordered them to kill the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba, so there is no reason... (full context)
Part 5: The Story of the Flood
Civilization and the Fall from Innocence Theme Icon
Heroism in Nature vs. Comfort in the City Theme Icon
Pride and the Gods Theme Icon
...Shurrupak, a city built along the Euphrates river. The city was growing quickly. The god Enlil hears the sounds of the city and complains that it’s impossible to sleep because of... (full context)
Civilization and the Fall from Innocence Theme Icon
Heroism in Nature vs. Comfort in the City Theme Icon
Pride and the Gods Theme Icon
...asks how he will explain himself to others, and Ea tells him to say that Enlil was angry with him, so that he may no longer live on land or in... (full context)
Civilization and the Fall from Innocence Theme Icon
Pride and the Gods Theme Icon
...she will remember the flood and all that happened. She tells all the gods but Enlil, who was responsible for the flood, to gather around the offering. When Enlil does arrive,... (full context)
Civilization and the Fall from Innocence Theme Icon
Mortality and Meaning Theme Icon
Pride and the Gods Theme Icon
...who told Utnapishtim how to avoid his fate; Utnapishtim learned it from a dream. Then Enlil enters the boat and takes Utnapishtim and his wife below-deck, and he makes them kneel... (full context)
Part 7: The Death of Gilgamesh
Heroism in Nature vs. Comfort in the City Theme Icon
Friendship, Love, and Sexuality Theme Icon
Mortality and Meaning Theme Icon
Pride and the Gods Theme Icon
Enlil speaks of his destiny for Gilgamesh, which has now been fulfilled: “in nether-earth the darkness... (full context)