Gilgamesh is the first heroic narrative in world literature, dating back from about 2700 B. Fate is a problem dealt with throughout the entirety of the poem. In Greek literature we often find a common theme of characters foolishly attempting to escape their own fate, and of course failing miserably. We see this in Gilgamesh as Gilgamesh often refuses to believe in fate when it is initially presented to him. For instance, when he learns of Enkindu's fated death, he dismisses the matter saying that he will cause the God's to change their minds. Enkindu gives in to the inevitability of fate, however Gilgamesh believes that it is morally wrong to simply passively accept one's fate. He even goes so far as to attempt to escape his own fate of mortality. Enkidu's death makes him recognize his own fear of death and he embarks on a journey to acquire eternal life. He encounters Untapishtim, who is immortal, and inquires how he may also gain eternal life. Gilgamesh learns of a plant that makes its owners immortal and goes in search of it. However, when he finally obtains it, it is quickly snatched out of his hands by a serpent. From this we see that Gilgamesh is bound to his fate set by the God Enlil. "O Gilgamesh, this was the meaning of your dream. You were given the kingship, such was your destiny, everlasting life was not your destiny" (Norton, VII Pg. 46) Gilgamesh comes to realize his human limitations and accept his fate. Another similarity between Gilgamesh and Greek epics, besides the character's inability to escape their fates, is that there is divine intervention; such as when Shamash helps him to kill Humbaba. Fate has a cruelty in Gilgamesh, not unlike Sophocle's Oedipus, which is shown when the God Enlil originally desired the death of Humbaba, however later punishes Enkidu for killing him.
During the time period of Ancient Greece, it was believed that everything was predestined by the Fates and the Gods.