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introduction to the epic


Kristin Wintin

on 5 May 2011

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Transcript of introduction to the epic

Characteristics of epic poetry
large themes/big questions

huge settings


use of epithets

In medias res

riffing on old stories
who are we?
why are we here?
gods' role in our lives
429–347 B.C.E plato
the stuff of philosophers!
The universe
The sea
The underworld
Poseidon Greek god of the sea
the man of twists and turns
the earth shaker
= Poseidon
an epithet
renames somthing
ancient stories
nostalgic about earlier times
Like prologue in Shakespeare
Greeks believed in muses who inspired all artists
invoke = to call upon
"Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus..."
Latin for "in the middle of affairs".
The Odyssey takes place in about a month, but re-tells the events of 20 years
Star Wars is a modern epic
huge setting
important themes
en media res
Ideas about Authorship
tradition said he was blind (blind bard in Odyssey)
maybe a great performer
he may have written or may have been illiterate.
Very likely he did not actually write.
during the "Dark Ages" 1150-700 bc seemed to have lost
writing. Literacy emerges again around 700.
750-720 BC
Late Bronze Age
Mycenaean Age
Dark Age
The Odyssey
athena becomes "the grey eyed goddess"
Helps the poet work in meter
elements of epic
1 AD
rule of Augustus Caesar
writing appears
Homeric works
Dark Ages
Bronze Age
Mycenean Period
writing is lost
system collapse
Linear a & b
Trojan War
Gilgamesh 2000 BCE
Full transcript