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Homer and the Greek Epic
Transcript of Homer and the Greek Epic
In Media Res
Definition- When an epic is not in chronological order and begins in the middle of the story. The story begins with action rather than an exposition to explain the situation and characters.
Example of a story in media res is the Odyssey. The Odyssey begins with Telemachus thinking what to do about his father, Odysseus.
Bard- A Bard is a poet that composes stories of legendary heroes.
Minstrel- A musician who performs songs or interprets poetry in the Middle Ages using an instrument.
Example: Demodokos, who is a blind singer, in The Odyssey.
Rhapsode- An expert in the Middle ages that recites poetry and epics.
How are Epics told?
Epics are told by storytellers in Ancient Times. It was told verbally and had a basic story line. Some epics took several of days for the poet to tell, like The Odyssey and Iliad.
Live Performance in Ancient Greece
A live performance in Ancient Greece consisted of plays and epic poems that were told by storytellers and display pieces shown to the audience.
Themes in Homer's epic Iliad
Themes in the Iliad:
The Glory of War: This epics celebrated war and everyone based their worthy on the completion of the war.
Military Glory over Family: The people respect the military over their family. Homer puts them in situations to choose the military over their loved ones and they chose the military.
The Non-Lasting of Human Life and Its Creations: Homer makes the greatest and strongest men die first to show that they can't even escape death. His epics highlights that humans should live their life worthily, so they would be remembered well.
Themes in Homer's epic
Themes in The Odyssey:
Xenia/Hospitality- In the Ancient Greece culture, Hospitality was essential. If someone didn't show hospitality, the gods will punish them.
Temptation: Temptation is what lead Odysseus to return to his home.
Principles: In the Odyssey, you have principles that you need to follow and they are a matter of life or death.
Examples: Sacrificing to the gods and hosting guests.
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Literature Influenced by Homer's epics
Relevance Homer's epics had in Ancient Greece Culture
Homer's work had a significant impact on the Greek Culture.
Greeks and Romans didn't consider themselves educated if they hadn't read Homer's work.
Homer's epics were a basis for Greek education throughout the Classical age until the Roman Empire.
His work contained morals and themes which Greeks filtered down to Western traditions and is now a part of the Greek culture.
Definition: An epic is a long poem derived and told by storytellers in ancient times.
What is an epic?
Definition: An Archetype is a repeating symbol in literature. It can also be recognizable characters, situations, or images.
Homer is a storyteller and a performer that lived in Greece during 800 B.C. to 701 B.C., although it's not known the exact date. He is recognized as the best Ancient Greece epic poet because his work had a major influence on history of literature. Homer is said to be blind, but it's not known for a fact. Actually, he is considered the Greatest Literary Mystery because there is no proof that he actually even existed.
"Ulysses" by James Joyce
"Helen of Troy" by Margaret George
"Troy" by Adéle Geras
William Shakespeare's work was influenced by Homer's epics.
Relevance of Homer's epics in the modern day
Homer's epics, Iliad and The Odyssey, are still relevant today. They are read in schools in the modern day because his epics contain important moral themes.
Definition: An Epic Hero is brave and noble character in an epic. They do goods deeds for others and they perform extraordinary tasks.
Archetypes in The Odyssey and Iliad
Examples of Archetypes found in The Odyssey:
Examples found in the Iliad:
Homer is famous for his works, the Iliad and The Odyssey. The Iliad takes place during the Trojan War, but The Odyssey takes place after. They were both believed to be composed around the Trojan War in the 8th century B.C.
Definition: A characteristic to describe a person or thing.
Examples in The Odyssey:
Television Shows and Movies influenced
by Homer's Epics
Helen Of Troy, 2003 (Television Series): It is based on the Trojan War.
The Odyssey, 1997 (Film): It is about Odysseus' journey.
Xena the Warrior Princess, 1995 (Television Series)
Hercules, 1997 (Film)
Epic Simile & Vast Setting
Epic simile- A simile using "like" or "as" appearing in multiple lines of a verse in an epic poem.
Example: "...Odysseus left the skin of his great hands torn on the rock-ledge as the wave submerged him. And now at last Odysseus would have perished, battered inhumanly, but he had the gift of self-possession from grey-eyed Athena."
Vast setting- A broad or large setting in an epic poem.
Example: An example is the sea.
Definition: When a poet requests for inspiration or knowledge about an epic. It is usually called, "Invocation of the Muse."
"Tell me, Muse, of the man of many ways, who was driven far journeys, after he had sacked Troy’s sacred citadel. ..."
-Odysseus, Book 1