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What makes a poem epic?

Define characteristics of an epic poem.

Lauren Coakley

on 23 September 2012

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Transcript of What makes a poem epic?

A long narrative poem with action,
adventures and travel!! EPIC poem Can YOU identify an epic poem?
Lauren Coakley, EDIM 508 The correct answer is yes. Define epic. Epics feature long and formal speeches. Look for a statement of the theme in the beginning of the poem.
Virgil, in Book 1 of The Aeneid
"Arms and the man I sing" Epics open with an invocation to a muse.
Homer, in Book 1 of The Odyssey
"Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy."
(Robert Fagles translation, 1996) Begins in medias res. Epic poems tell the hero's story of action, adventure, travel. Latin phrase meaning in the middle of things. Main character
is a HERO. Epics include the use of epithets.
A descriptive word or phrase
Example - "rosy-fingered dawn"
Mnemonic aids for poet and audience Characters can include mythical,
magical and human helpers. The hero is charged with a quest. Zeus speaks... hi laura. Epithets were used due to constraints of dactylic hexameter, or heroic hexameter, the form of meter associated with classical epic poetry. Setting is vast. Covers nations, the world or the universe. ...could include a journey
to the underworld The gods play a role.
Divine intervention on human affairs. Look for epic catalogues. Epic similes are extended similes. References:
This presentation is designed to identify the basic characteristics of an epic poem and conventions used in epics. I designed the presentation to be used as a student learning tool; a launching point for further investigation into epic poems. Larger than life, the hero's deeds reveal his strengths and weaknesses. The hero embodies the values of a culture; his success is important. An epic catalogue is a long list of people, things or attributes. Homer's Odyssey includes catalogs of dead heroes. Epic similes are often used to compare a character and his actions to a similar person or event in the human or supernatural world. Home at last. Explore the following epic poems.
The Illiad
The Odyssey
The Aenied
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Beowulf PA Standards:
EIV.1.1. Reading Independently: Students apply a wide range of strategies.
EIV.1.3.12.C. Analyze the effectiveness of literary elements used by authors in various genres. Presentation References
Bobrow . Odyssey: Introduction. [Audio]. Available from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/
Discovery Education, (2004). Great Books: Homer's Odyssey. [Full Video]. Used segments: What is an odyssey, Circe and caylpso, Home at last. Available from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/
Foley, J. (n.d.). A story of epic proportions: What makes a poem an epic?. Retrieved from
Harris, R. (2010, November 22). A glossary of literary terms, page2. Retrieved from
Hero. (2010). [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.istockphoto.com/
Homer. (n.d.). Homer, odyssey. In Hopper (Ed.), Perseus Digital Library. Tufts University. Retrieved from http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0136:book=1:card=1
IRC, (2005). Odysseus (Ulysses), the Greek Trojan War hero.. [Image]. Available from
Oral epics or world folk epics. (2012, February 04). Retrieved from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_poetry -
Virgil., Translated by Dryden, J. (2012). The aeneid, book i, [arms and the man i sing]. Academy of American Poets. Retrieved from http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21451
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