The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia—the fertile region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that is now occupied by the nations of Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, and Syria. It was first published around 2100 BCE. The epic seeks to answer the question, “What is the meaning of life when everyone must die?” The epic ultimately concludes that although no one escapes death, people can enjoy life in all of its ephemerality, and perhaps even more so because of it.


Read one-minute Sparklet summaries, the detailed tablet-by-tablet Summary & Analysis, the Full Poem Summary, or the Full Poem Analysis of The Epic of Gilgamesh.


See a complete list of the characters in The Epic of Gilgamesh and in-depth analyses of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Utnapishtim, Siduri, Humbaba, and Ishtar.

Literary Devices

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Further Study

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