“The Epic of Gilgamesh”: Reading Guide

Bridget GraneyUncategorized


The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest known pieces of literature in the world, offers a glimpse into the ancient Mesopotamian worldview and the human condition through the adventures of its eponymous hero. This reading guide is designed to enhance your exploration of this ancient epic, providing you with strategies for engaging with the text and questions to enrich your understanding.

Keys to Reading

  • Unleash Your Imagination: The narrative style of the Epic of Gilgamesh is distinct from modern literary works, with minimal direct commentary on the characters’ thoughts and motivations. Engage your imagination to fill in these gaps, immersing yourself in the ancient world of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Imagine the sights, sounds, and emotions of their epic journey to bring the story to life in your mind’s eye.
  • Visualize Through Drawing: Consider drawing scenes or characters as you read. This creative exercise can help you connect more deeply with the text, allowing you to visualize the epic battles, mythical creatures, and the ancient landscape of Mesopotamia. Drawing can also help you remember key moments and themes of the epic.

Questions to Ponder

  • What themes, emotions, or character traits are being highlighted through repetition? The Epic of Gilgamesh employs repetition as a literary device, which might seem unusual to modern readers. As you encounter these repetitions, consider what the narrator is emphasizing. How does this technique help convey the story’s messages and the characters’ experiences?

Happy reading!


For those seeking an even richer experience, don’t miss the audio version of this guide and our podcast episode that delves further into the epic’s intricacies and enduring impact.

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