Epic of Gilgamesh: How are leaders represented in the poem?

Epic of Gilgamesh: How are leaders represented in the poem?

Epic of Gilgamesh


How are leaders represented in the poem? Which characters are kings, rulers, or leaders of men or gods? How do they behave? What qualities do they demonstrate? How do these qualities compare to what we look for and expect of leaders in our workplaces, our communities, or our nation?

Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s Relationship

One of the driving forces of the plot in this poem is the relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. What are some of the key passages that define their relationship, and what do those passages suggest about the relationship between the two men? What might their relationship suggest about the values, practices, or beliefs of the culture which created the poem? How does the emotional bond between these two men reflect human nature, psychology, or experience in general?

The Iliad

Women’s Roles

How are women described and treated in the poem? Which women are presented as key characters? How are they portrayed? Which scenes allow us to extrapolate cultural attitudes toward the position of women in Greek culture? How do these representations participate in or allow us to critique stereotypes?