An Analytical Interpretation Of Gilgamesh


When studying the Epic of Gilgamesh there are many factors to consider. Of literary devices such as point of view, characterization, theme, plot, setting, figurative language, and mood, the best literary device to cover for the Epic of Gilgamesh would be point of view, theme, and characterization. The history of the piece must also be considered. It may be the oldest epic tale in the history of the world.

The story is told in third person omniscient point of view. Because of this point of view the author/narrator is able to see all of the characters and follow their thoughts and moves. The narrator can step back and watch all of the characters, rather than simply have knowledge of one character in the epic tale. With this point of view, you hear and feel everyone. You can also watch the changes that Gilgamesh makes.

The Sumerian epic tale has many themes to be discussed. The twelve tablets follow the classic epic hero as he seeks to obtain a goal, but is burdened by his flaw. Gilgamesh is young and at times over confidant, but he plunges forward to accomplish his mission. The Akkadian epic follows each step of Gilgamesh’s journey through the light and the darkness and his adventure into manhood and acceptance of what life has given him.

This youthful and over confident boy-king makes friends with a half beast and half man. But the fact that he has abused people and treated them unfairly cannot be forgotten. You must recognize just how bad he is to see where his journey ends. When they begin the journey together and his half beast and half man friend dies, the king has to grow up and mature quickly. His mission is to eventually be a strong, wise, and fair ruler, but he must pass tests and accomplish much before he can get to this point. He has a far distance to go.

When analyzing the Epic of Gilgamesh there are many things to consider. There are also many facets to discuss. The history of the time and place of this Sumerian epic has to be considered. The flaw of Gilgamesh, his loss, and the journey he must take are also considerations. There is an amazing transformation of the main character and the third point omniscient narrator is able to provide details on these changes.