Gilgamesh is described as two thirds god and one-third man. He is the main character that is greatly respected and feared by many.   The story starts with the introduction of Enkidu, a very influential man, who journeys to challenge Gilgamesh to a wrestling match. This competition turns out to be even and the two become good friends. They go on many voyages together including killing the God of the forest, Humbaba. The Gods become angry with the two for killing Humbaba. In revenge, they kill Enkidu. After discovering Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh recognizes that he is going to die someday. He then goes on the quest to find eternal life. When he ultimately finds it, he has it stolen by a snake. This occurrence causes him to recognize that the Gods should only have eternal life and all else have to die eventually. All of these occurrences mature Gilgamesh and he becomes much wiser. This historic piece of writing contains numerous different literary elements in it. First it shows qualities of some different characters. Gilgamesh is arrogant about his abilities at first, but once Enkidu dies he becomes more modest and frightful of death. However, he realizes everyone has to die.
The most noticeable archetype is the flood. Utnapishtim, who is immortal, was the lone person who survived. He tells Gilgamesh about his experience. Another archetype was the serpent. Serpents are known today for being dishonest and mysterious.   It is the serpent that steals the key to eternal life from Gilgamesh so the serpent’s status follows suit.