Gilgamesh: the first tragic man

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Türkarslan K. K.

Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, pp.1-11, 2020 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01062301.2020.1782703
  • Title of Journal : Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-11


Studying myths with psychoanalytic understanding is an attempt as old as psychoanalysis itself. Being the oldest written story, the Epic of Gilgamesh narrates the heroic journeys and the desperate search for the immortality of Sumerian semi-legendary king, Gilgamesh. In the present article, the main themes of the epic, comprising fellowship and fear of death, were analysed through self-psychological concepts of twinship selfobject needs and the transformations of narcissism. One of the major schools of psychoanalysis, self-psychology, investigates and understands human experiences from the perspective of selfobject experiences in which the psychological functions of selfobjects are utilized to preserve cohesiveness, vitality, and harmony of the self as extensively described by Heinz Kohut and other self-psychologists.