An epic is a narrative poem, of considerable length, of exalted style, celebrating heroic adventures, mythical or historical. The great examples of classical epics are the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, which are unmatched in any other language. In Latin, the Aenied by the ancient poet, Virgil, is almost equally famous. The Iliad, a poem in twenty-four books, has as its central theme the wrath of Achilles.
After the formative period of the Vedic age, literature moved in several different directions. The close of the Vedic period was one of great cultural renewal, with the founding of the new monastic religions of Buddhism and Jainism… General characteristics An epic may deal with such various subjects as mythsheroic legendshistories, edifying religious tales, animal stories, or philosophical or moral theories.
Epic poetry has been and continues to be used by peoples all over the world to transmit their traditions from one generation to another, without the aid of writing.
These traditions frequently consist of legendary narratives about the glorious deeds of their national heroes. Such ages have been experienced by many nations, usually at a stage of development in which they have had to struggle for a national identity.
This effort, combined with such other conditions as an adequate material culture and a sufficiently productive economy, tend to produce a society dominated by a powerful and warlike nobility, constantly occupied with martial activities, whose individual members seek, above all, everlasting fame for themselves and for their lineages.
Uses of the epic The main function of poetry in heroic-age society appears to be to stir the spirit of the warriors to heroic actions by praising their exploits and those of their illustrious ancestors, by assuring a long and glorious recollection of their fame, and by supplying them with models of ideal heroic behaviour.
One of the favourite pastimes of the nobility in heroic ages in different times and places has been to gather in banquet halls to hear heroic songs, in praise of famous deeds sung by professional singers as well as by the warriors themselves.
Heroic songs also were often sung before a battle, and such recitations had tremendous effect on the morale of the combatants. Among the Fulani Fulbe people in the Sudan, for instance, whose epic poetry has been recorded, a nobleman customarily set out in quest of adventures accompanied by a singer mabowho also served as his shield bearer.
The singer was thus the witness of the heroic deeds of his lord, which he celebrated in an epic poem called baudi. The aristocratic warriors of the heroic ages were thus members of an illustrious family, a link in a long chain of glorious heroes. And the chain could snap if the warrior failed to preserve the honour of the family, whereas, by earning fame through his own heroism, he could give it new lustre.
Epic traditions were to a large extent the traditions of the aristocratic families: The passing of a heroic age does not necessarily mean the end of its heroic oral poetry. An oral epic tradition usually continues for as long as the nation remains largely illiterate.
Usually it is after the heroic age has passed that the narratives about its legendary heroes are fully elaborated. Even when the nobility that originally created the heroic epic perishes or loses interest, the old songs can persist as entertainments among the people.
Court singers, then, are replaced by popular singers, who recite at public gatherings. This popular tradition, however, must be distinguished from a tradition that still forms an integral part of the culture of a nobility. For when a heroic epic loses its contact with the banquet halls of the princes and noblemen, it cannot preserve for long its power of renewal.
Soon it enters what has been called the reproductive stage in the life cycle of an oral tradition, in which the bards become noncreative reproducers of songs learned from older singers.He is the first of the Greek epic heroes to be renowned for his brain as well as his muscle.
* Peisistratus – The gallant young son of Nestor. He is the companion of . The Song of Roland The Song of Roland research papers examine Roland's relationship to Oliver. Research papers on The Song of Roland epic poem show it was written in France during the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
The poem describes events that happened several centuries earlier, during the reign of Charlemagne. Beowulf Epic Hero Essay Beowulf Beowulf, an oral story first recorded as an epic in the eighth century, was found in a monastery long forgotten, and has survived two fires since.
An epic is a long poem that tells the story of a hero’s adventures or exciting events. There are several common conventions associated with Beowulf as an epic poem.
Final words of caution: epic narratives have conventions of many kinds - conventions of plot, characters, setting, language and style etc. What I outlined is usually concerned mostly with plot, since your question implies this to be your main interest. An epic simile is a lengthy comparison between two objects or ideas. Make a list of literary devices to use and create rules for yourself about how many of each strategy to use in your own invocation. Following The Odyssey, dactylic hexameter, also known as “heroic meter” or the “meter of epic,” became the standard meter of epic poetry. Another convention is the repeated use of the same phrases and brief descriptions, called epithets, throughout the poem.
Are these conventions common in other epic poems? Mortality. What role does the concept of mortality play in Beowulf? The belief of fate in Beowulf. How much of the plot depends individual choice and how much depends on fate?
Beowulf Essay Topics. Nov 01, · The most Achilles-like character in the poem is Satan, whom Milton surrounds with "epic matter and motivations, epic genre conventions, and constant allusions to specific passages in famous heroic poems" (Barbara Lewalski, Paradise Lost and the Rhetoric of Literary Forms 55).
Feb 02, · In contrast Epic theatre is opposed to the conventions of realistic or naturalistic theatre which are based on emotion and life. This style is concerned with treating issues on a intellectual base, a style of theatre that is a vehicle for instruction and/or education.