Female Dream Interpretation in Gilgamesh
A look at how Gilgamesh’s mother teaches us how to `untie` or interpret dreams, a skill that Gilgamesh needs to learn and her wisdom is an early tribute to the power of female intelligence.
`Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh, is represented as a skilled interpreter of dreams. Dreams and how to interpret them have always fascinated humankind. From the dreams of Gilgamesh to the dreams represented in other literature to Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams to the Jungian perspective on dreams up to the Gestaltian interpretation of dreams, dreams have an enduring fascination in life as well as in literature. Dreams are now understood to be the key to the unconscious mind of humans and dream interpretation is a skill that is practiced by both fortune-tellers and highly trained psychotherapists. Gilgamesh turns to his mother for dream interpretation and she is perhaps the first person in the literature of the world to practice this skill. Ninsun is a very minor character in the Epic, and does not appear in most of the action. It is easy to overlook her compared with the space and attention given to Ishtar, but Ninsun, as mother figure and dream interpretator is not a character that should be ignored. `