Gilgamesh poem summary

10 key facts

The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient Mesopotamian epic poem about Gilgamesh, king of Uruk.

1. Ancient Mesopotamian Epic

The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest epic poems, dating back to 2150 BCE.

2. Oldest Known Epic

Sin-leqe-unnini, a scribe and priest, is credited with the standard version of the epic.

3. Authorship

Gilgamesh seeks immortality after Enkidu's death. He faces trials, battles mythical creatures, and meets immortals.

4. Plot Overview

Enkidu, a wild man, was created by Aruru to rival Gilgamesh. They became close friends and comrades.

5. Creation of Enkidu

Gilgamesh's primary quest in the epic is to find a way to become immortal, driven by the fear of death and the loss of his friend Enkidu

6. Quest for Immortality

Gilgamesh interacts with gods and goddesses on his journey, including Ishtar, Shamash, and Ea

7. Encounters with Gods

The epic contains a flood narrative similar to Noah's Ark. Utnapishtim survives the flood and gains immortality.

8. The Flood Story

Gilgamesh failed to achieve immortality, but he accepted his mortality and left a legacy in Uruk.

9. Loss of Immortality

The Epic of Gilgamesh explores friendship, fear of death, meaning of life, and legacy.

10. Themes