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					The Epic Poem & Greek
Every Epic Poem must have a

The hero is a figure of imposing stature,
of national or international importance,
and of great historical or legendary
Setting is important for an epic...

The setting is vast in scope,
covering great nations or the
The plot is driven by more than the mundane!

    The actions consist of deeds of
    great valor or those requiring
    super-human courage.
Heroes can't go it alone...

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

The epic poet recounts the
deeds of the hero with
Most epic poets employ some
common literary conventions
(Writing techniques)...stay
Epic Poetry Technique...

The poet opens by stating
the theme and invoking a
muse to inspire the poem.
So…what’s a muse?
                    Muses 101...
They are nine in number, the
daughters of Zeus and
Mnemosyne, Memory.
They help artists to “forget”
their troubles so that they
can create. There is a muse
for history, astronomy,
tragedy, comedy, dance, epic
poetry, love-poetry, songs to
the gods, and lyric poetry.`
In the middle of what?
 The poem opens in medias
 res—in the middle of the
 action—and presents
 necessary exposition in later
 portions of the epic.
 Also, epics contain:
 Catalogs of warriors, ships,
 and armies.
Greek Heroes Share More Than
Fame...      Greek Hero Structure
         The Greek nobility valued strength
            and skill, for these attributes
              enabled the person who
         possessed them to achieve glory
         and honor, both in his lifetime and
                    after he died.
           This value is known as Arête.
  What's wrong with being great????

Arête = striving for excellence: Strength,
   skill, courage, intelligence, insight,
   ingenuity: Be the best of the best.

     What is the danger of Arête?
 What was the danger of Arête Again?
   The hero forgets his human
limitations and thinks he’s greater
      than he actually is…
         Which leads to…
   Hubris = excessive pride.

 What is the danger of hubris?
    What is the big-deal danger of hubris?

Hero does / says something excessive without
thinking of the consequences…

Which leads to…

          Até = blind, rash behavior.

                  Até leads to…
  What the heck could Até possibly do?
 I know... It could bring
Nemesis=retribution: gods
  punish hero directly or
other humans punish him.
   Either way the hero
  brought his fate upon
 himself through free-will.
So What Else do Greek Heroes
Have in Common?

       1. A
    belief in
Greek Heroes, cont.

    2. A supreme pride (hubris)
Greek Heroes, cont.

      3. Capacity for suffering
Greek Heroes, cont.

  4. Strong sense of commitment
Greek Heroes, cont.

                        5. Not too
                      good/ too bad
Greek Heroes, cont.

      6. Flaw
  (term used in
archery to mean,
   “near miss”)
  Greek Heroes, cont.
 7. Vigorous protest of
limitations, fate, or any
   reality that doesn't
 quite fit into the hero's
   plan. And the hero
receives a punishment
that is deserved, but is
  more severe than his
Greek Heroes, cont.

   8. At some point every hero
undergoes a major Transformation
as a result of his conflicts and fate.
      This is called the “Fall.”
Greek Heroes, cont.
9. After the Transformation,
the hero experiences some
Impact (understanding). In
 other words, the light bulb
goes off. So the Fall wasn't
all bad, he gains wisdom
  and knowlege that he
never would have gotten
Greek Heroes, cont.

      10. Finally, the hero, at
      least partially, chooses