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Epics and Epic Heros
Transcript of Epics and Epic Heros
Concern eternal human problems such as the conflict between GOOD and EVIL
Written or told on a grand scale and often in ceremonial style
Characteristics of an Epic
1. The hero is a great leader who is identified strongly with a particular people or society.
2. The setting is broad and often includes supernatural realms, especially the land of the dead.
3. The hero does great deeds in battle or undertakes an extraordinary journey or quest.
4. Sometimes gods or other supernatural or fantastic beings take part in the action.
5. The story is told in heightened language
Shared characteristics of epics writers drew upon to establish the epic quality of their poems.
1. There is an INVOCATION or formal plea for aid/help.
a. This plea is usually to a deity or some other spiritual power.
2. The action begins IN MEDIA RES…
a. literally meaning “in the middle of things”
3. The epic begins in media res and then flashes back to events that took place before the narrator’s current time setting
4. Epic Similes (a.k.a. Homeric simile)
a. elaborately extended comparisons relating heroic events to simple, everyday events using like, as, so, and just as
a. a descriptive phrase that presents a particular trait of a person or thing. It can be a quick aid to characterization
Epic Hero Characteristics
1. The epic hero is a “LARGER THAN LIFE PERSON” who embodies the highest ideals of his culture
2. The epic hero usually undertakes a QUEST/ JOURNEY to achieve something of great value to themselves or society
3. Epic heroes “LIVE ON AFTER DEATH" meaning they are forever remembered by those who live after them thus achieving a type of IMMORTALITY
4. Not a “Superman” with magical powers, but a “REGULAR” human (sometimes part god/part human) whose aspirations and accomplishments set him/her apart
Epic Hero Characteristics Continued
5. Overcomes great obstacles/opponents but maintains HUMANITY
6. Epic hero experiences typical HUMAN EMOTIONS/ FEELINGS, yet is able to master and control these human traits to a greater degree than a typical person
7. It is often necessary for the epic hero to connect/make contact with “LESSER” humans in order to succeed
Definition of an Epic
An epic is a long narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society.
In a modern day epic, all the traits and characteristics still apply except for the "long narrative poem" part
Examples of Epic Heroes