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The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

by Sinleqqiunninni

The Epic of Gilgamesh Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Death

We hate to break it to you, but it's been thousands of years since Gilgamesh was written down, and there's still no cure for death except cryonics—and we think that is just weird. The Epic of Gil...

Friendship

Bromance: as old as recorded history. (And we thought we'd invented it.) At the core of The Epic of Gilgamesh is the story of the powerful friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. At the beginning...

Sex

Yep, it's important. (Shock.) Two of the major game-changing events in The Epic of Gilgamesh involve sex, or the refusal of it. (1) Shamhat uses sex as a way to civilize Enkidu. In Mesopotamian cul...

Man and the Natural World

Man vs. Wild was serious business in ancient Mesopotamia—and there was no camera crew standing by just in case things got a little too real. We see the division between humankind and nature prett...

Life, Consciousness, and Existence

Life isn't just the opposite of death. For Gilgamesh, who starts off a pretty knuckle-headed king, friendship with Enkidu and the trials he endures seem to breathe some life into his consciousness....

Wisdom and Knowledge

When it starts off "He Who Has Seen the Deep," you know it's either a really hardcore black metal song … or an ancient Mesopotamian epic. In this case, it's The Epic of Gilgamesh: an ancient Meso...

Fear

The Epic of Gilgamesh is chock full of things to be afraid of. Exhibit A: Humbaba, Scorpion dudes, scary dreams, the edge of the world. Okay, you got us—that's a lot more than one exhibit. But, s...

Pride

One thing you can say for epic heroes: they're not humble. (As if that's something to be proud of.) One of Gilgamesh's defining characteristics at the start of The Epic of Gilgamesh is his unwaveri...

Perseverance

If at first you don't succeed, try … journeying to the edge of the world and asking some immortal graybeard for the answer. Or, so says The Epic of Gilgamesh. Really, though, we do have to hand i...

Religion

Even the most sporadic Sunday School attendee can catch the similarities between The Epic of Gilgamesh and the stories in the Hebrew Bible. The flood story is probably the most obvious, but, what a...
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