Epic Poetry intro

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					EPIC POETRY




                      by
             Dr. Bookie Reynolds

 Pellissippi State Technical Community College

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EPIC POETRY
    •    An epic is a long
        narrative poem, written
        in a dignified, formal
        style, in sufficient detail
        to give a picture of a
        race or nation and its
        civilization.

    • The action of an epic is
      centered around a hero
      of more than human
      proportions.
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EPIC POETRY
      •    A folk epic is an epic poem
          of uncertain authorship, e.g.
          Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey,
          the Old English Beowulf, the
          Sumerian Gilgamesh.


      • A literary or art epic is an
        epic poem written by a
        known author for a specific
        purpose, e.g.Virgil’s Æneid,
        Dante’s Divine Comedy,
        Milton’s Paradise Lost.


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EPIC POETRY

  • The hero is of imposing stature, of
    national or international importance,
    and of great historical and legendary
    significance.

  • The setting is vast in scope, covering
    great nations, the world, or the
    universe.

  • The actions consist of deeds of great
    valor or requiring superhuman
    courage.

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EPIC POETRY


  • Supernatural forces—gods, angels,
    and demons—interest themselves in
    the action and intervene from time to
    time.

  • A style of sustained elevation and
    grand simplicity is used.

  • The epic poet recounts the deeds of
    the heroes with objectivity.



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     EPIC POETRY                                 Additionally, epics employ
                                                 some or all of the standard
                                                 conventions.
   Statement of theme
   Invocation to Muse
   In medias res
   Epic Question
   Catalogs of warriors, ships, armies, etc.
   Extended formal speeches
   Stock epithets
   Epic similes (extended similes)
                                        Hand-to-hand combat between heroes
                                        Descriptions of armor, weaponry
                                        Sacrifices, rituals to gods
                                        Bragging, boasting
                                        Feasting
                                        Funeral rites, lamenting
                                        Digressive episodes

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