An epic (from the Ancient Greek adjective ἐπικός (epikos), from ἔπος (epos) "word, story, poem") is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation.[2 The central figure of ancient epic poetry is the hero. In the 3 major ancient classical epics, the heroes are 1. the Greek Achilles, in the Iliad,
2. the Greek Odysseus in the Odyssey, and
3. the Trojan Aeneas in the Aeneid.
The European epic traditon begins with Homer in Greece around 800 BC. It is essential that students of English literature read The Iliad and The Odyssey. The form of the epic poem, its typical characters, its plot, its tropes, and so forth are all set out in Homer. The epic was written in dactylic hexameter in a dignified and elevated style. It typically begins with an invocation to a muse and contains elaborate desriptions, similes, and speeches. It tells of major events of historical importance (the fall of Troy, the foundation of Rome, the fall of man, etc.). Its characters are noble. Medieval epic poems are plentiful, though rarely read. Each nation or state produced its great epic poets. Italy has not only Virgil, but also Dante, among others. Dante's great epic is The Divine Comedy. It has inspired poets and artists for centuries. English epics begin with Beowulf.
Long narrative poem generally divided into 12 books ( Homer’s and Milton’s )—heroic poem Military exploits, deeds of valor of a national/ international hero; man of heroic dimensions; giant among men; has extraordinary physical prowess; Iliad—deeds of Greeks; Odyssey—deeds of King Odysseus or Ulysses; Paradise Lost—Satan—cosmic sweep--deals with events of interest to all mankind Number of thrilling and sensational episodes and digressions—much exaggeration to excite wonder and admiration Well-marked unity and form—an organic whole; all events and adventures centre around the epic-hero; classic epic ( Homer or Milton) and...
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