GRK LIT11 - An epic poem long narrative poem about the...

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Unformatted text preview: An epic poem long narrative poem about the adventures of a hero, presenting a portrait of the culture in which it is composed. Characteristics of an epic poem Greek Literature • Main character is a hero: larger than life • Both good and bad traits of hero are presented • hero often visits many places • The episodes, though !ctional, sometimes explain historical events 2 Muses are sister goddesses that preside over the arts. Calliope is the muse of epic poetry and is best known as Homers$ muse. Conventions of the epic poem 1. Poem begins with its theme 2. Poem calls on the Muse for help in telling the story 3. Story begins "in medias res# Epic Hero Cycle The beginning of the Iliad • Hero is tested • Presence of mythical beings hero nearly gives up resurrection • 3 The hero charged with a quest usually to a supernatural world • Begin, Muse, when the two $rst broke and clashed, Agamemnon lord of men and bri#iant Achi#es. • • Rage!Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus" son Achi#es, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great $ghters" souls... Hero regains his rightful place 4 Fairy tales follow the epic cycle. The !rst famous Western fairy tales are those of Aesop in 6th century BC Greece. • 1. hero 3. hero in a di(cult situation 4. 5. special objects/places 5. 6. hope nearly gone 6. 7. crisis averted 7. 8. happily ever after 8. Oral tradition is a way for a society to transmit history, literature, law or other knowledge across generations without a writing system. 6 3. 4. helpers magical beings The Iliad and the Odyssey are examples of the oral tradition • 2. he composed the Iliad and the Odyssey %circa 800 BCE& probably based on older stories • 1. Cinderella 2. quest Homer developed the major conventions of epic poetry • Fairy Tales 5 The Golden Apple of Discord • Wedding of Achilles$ parents: Peleus %mortal& and Thetis %goddess& The Iliad and The Odyssey relate events before, during, and after the Trojan War )a battle between Greeks and the city of Troy • All gods invited but Eris %goddess of strife& • An apple for "the fairest# • Aphrodite, Athena, or Hera? • Paris, son of Trojan king Priam is chosen to settle the contest But what sets all this in motion? • Aphrodite o'ers the best bribe... 7 8 Did the Trojan War actually occur? • • The Iliad • Modern historians generally agree that The Iliad re+ects a set of historical events. Most historians accept that at some point around 1200 BCE the city of Troy was destroyed by a raiding party from the Greek mainland. Theme evident in opening line: "Rage)Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus$ son Achilles...# Why is Achilles so angry? 9 10 The importance of honor to a Homeric hero •!the Greeks have captured Chrys*is, daughter of Apollo$s priest, and given her as a prize to Agamemnon, king of Mycenae •!Apollo sends plague against Greeks, who force Agamemnon to send Chrys*is back to her father to stop it •!In her place, Agamemnon takes Bris*is, Achilles$ prize. 11 • • • • • Warriors feared judgement of community)need their acceptance failure to meet expectations? warrior loses face Losing face is the worst possible outcome for a warrior Why? honor = reputation/glory/immortality honor is meaning Theses stories served an ethical function in ancient Greece!teaching young men to behave with honor as members of the community 12 The Odyssey Warriors abide by a code of honor: %Te# me, Muse, of the man of many ways...& Theme: succeeding through wit, cleverness )stand together )respect each other )refrain from excessive cruelty An honorable reputation insures a hero$s place in the memory of the people 13 14 Why is hospitality so important? • • • • • Travelers bring news • 15 Zeus is the protector of travelers • those who do not respect this social code are punished you never know who your guest is • Another important theme: hospitality, or !xenia" in Greek, meaning "guest friendship# Hospitality %or the lack of it& a'ects Odysseus throughout the story strangers often travelers needing help functions as a simple form of morality 16 ...
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