The Epic of Gilgamesh
The epic of Gilgamesh is the story of a Sumerian king who ruled between 3000 to 2500 B.C. during the first dynasty of Uruk near the river Euphrates. Gilgamesh is two thirds God and one part man, a king so unpopular with his subjects that they send up a lament to the Gods to bring them relief from Gilgamesh (Anthology 10-41). The answer to the prayer is Enkidu, the reflection or second self of Gilgamesh – sent into the world so that the two could “contend together and leave Uruk in quiet” (Sanders 62). Through the events of Enkidu’s life, Gilgamesh is initiated into his journey of self knowledge, which accentuates after the death of his beloved friend.