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Epic of Gilgamesh Video Summary

The “Epic of Gilgamesh”, is regarded as the oldest piece of literature which was discovered in Mesopotamia. It is a tale that relates the events that led a bad king to transform into a good king. Gilgamesh was a tyrant who did as he pleased without any thought of consequences. The gods were not pleased with him so they made an exact human copy of him called Enkidu. When the two met, they immediately fought for forty days and forty nights, until both got tired. Gilgamesh called for a truce and offered Enkidu his friendship. According to Ben Foster, Gilgamesh and Enkidu were like “Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson” kind of a pairing (“The Epic of Gilgamesh”).

Enkidu is introduced to Shamhat, who teaches him about the world, then she brings him to Uruk, a city that still stands today in modern-day Iraq. One day, Gilgamesh along with Enkidu set out to clear the cedar forest, despite everyone’s warning that it would displease the gods. They ignore the warnings, cutting down the forest along with its guardian, Hambaba. This time, Gilgamesh had taken things too far so the gods as punishment take Enkidu’s life. Gilgamesh is grief-stricken and he realizes that one day he will meet the same fate so he sets out in search of immortality. However; he finds something far better, he gains wisdom which allows him to become a better ruler.

This story is older than many pieces of literature; it is even older than Bible, however; there are similarities between the Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh that make the readers wonder if there is any truth to these stories. Unfortunately, the truth is a well-kept secret that only the people of Ancient Mesopotamia were privy to and the rest of the world can merely speculate.

Works Cited

“The Epic of Gilgamesh.” Annenberg Learner, 2010,



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