Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Anonymous's The Epic of Gilgamesh. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: The Epic of Gilgamesh
- When Written: As far back as the Third Dynasty of Ur (around 2100 BCE), stories were written about the legendary king Gilgamesh. These stories, however, were not unified into a single narrative until the 18th century BCE, in what is now known as the Old Babylonian version of the Epic. This version, however, had major gaps, which were largely filled in by what is now known as the Standard Version. The Standard Version dates from between the 10th and 13th century BCE. Still today, the text is considered incomplete.
- Where Written: Ancient Sumer / Mesopotamia
- When Published: The Epic of Gilgamesh was first discovered in 1853, and the first modern translation was published in the 1870s. Since then, various versions have been published.
- Literary Period: Ancient epic
- Genre: Epic Poem
- Setting: Ancient Sumer (modern-day Iraq)
- Climax: Enkidu’s death
- Antagonist: Though the epic does not have a single clearly-defined antagonist, pride is Gilgamesh’s main obstacle throughout.
- Point of View: Third-person omniscient
Old School. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the world’s oldest surviving written poem.
Gilgamesh the Boss. In the Final Fantasy series of videogames, a character known as Gilgamesh frequently features as a boss enemy, along with his sidekick Enkidu.