epic_poetry

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					Epic Poetry
                         Epic Devices
Epics also tend to have the following characteristics:
• An opening in medias res
• An invocation of the Muse
• A concern with the fate of a nation or people
• A correspondingly large geographic scale, often ranging around the world
• The intervention of supernatural figures who are interested in the outcome
   of the action (the system of gods, demons, angels, etc)
• Extended similes, generally called epic similes
• Repetition – of stories, lines, or epithets (adjectives or noun-adjective
   combinations used to refer to specific characters: i.e grey-eyed Athena,
   crafty Odysseus, rosy-fingered dawn)
• Long catalogues, whether of ships, family lineage, or places
• Extensive battle scenes
• A few stock episodes, including a visit to the underworld
• Written in a regulated meter
                       The Epic
An epic poem is:
• A long narrative poem
  – Hint: Think of it as a combination of a novel and a poem
• Meant to be spoken or recited aloud by bards
  (traveling poets)
• About a serious subject
• Written in a grand, elevated style
• Centered on a larger-than-life hero

To think on while you read:
WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF AN EPIC HERO?
              Dactylic Hexameter
• A common metric form for epics (i.e. The Odyssey, The
  Iliad, The Aeneid)
• Hexameter – a line of poetry consisting of 6 feet
• Dactyl – a stressed syllable, followed by two unstressed
  syllables
     / - -
     Poetry

      / - -         / - -          / - -       / - -         /    - -       /   -
     This is the / forest prim- / eval. The / murmuring / pines and the / hemlocks


• Sometimes, Homer replaces a dactyl with a spondee in
  certain places…
   – Spondee – two stressed syllables; uncommon in poetry, used as a
     variation from some other meter

				
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posted:2/24/2012
language:English
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