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EPIC Similes

Analyzing epic similes in Book 9 of The Odyssey (Fagles translation).
by

Arian Jones

on 3 December 2010

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Transcript of EPIC Similes

A comparison between one object and another using "like" or "as." Simile EPIC! Relating to a long, poetic composition
or
Something impressively great! EPIC SIMILE The epic simile appears in the genre of the epic, and it may be developed at great length. It's a BIG simile! “I drove my weight on it from above and bored it home
as a shipwright bores his beam with a shipwright’s drill
that men below, whipping the strap back and forth, whirl
and the drill keeps twisting faster, never stopping--” (lines 429-432).
What is being compared? “I drove my weight on it from above and bored it home
as a shipwright bores his beam with a shipwright’s drill
that men below, whipping the strap back and forth, whirl
and the drill keeps twisting faster, never stopping--” (lines 429-432).
“I drove my weight on it from above and bored it home
as a shipwright bores his beam with a shipwright’s drill
that men below, whipping the strap back and forth, whirl
and the drill keeps twisting faster, never stopping--” (lines 429-432).
The driving of the stake into the eye of the Cyclops IS BEING COMPARED TO A shipwright's drill and it's motion- twisting faster and faster! What the heck is a SHIPWRIGHT? A shipwright is a person who builds ships. It's kind of like a playwright is a person who writes plays. The driving of the stake into the eye of cyclops is comparable to a shipbuilder's drill twisting faster and faster! Now you try. What's being compared? “…its crackling roots blazed
and hissed---
as a blacksmith plunges a glowing ax or adze
in an ice-cold bath and the metal screeches steam
and its temper hardens- that’s the iron’s strength-
so the eye of the Cyclops sizzled round that stake!” (438 – 441).
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