Epic DefinitionAn epic is a long narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society.-Sometimes called a heroic poem-Beowulf, the Iliad, and the Odysseyare all epics
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Epics often…Concern eternal human problems such as the conflict between GOOD and EVILWritten or told on a grand scaleand often in ceremonial style
2 Types of Epics1.Folk Epic-oralcompositions passed on from storyteller to storyteller and has changedover time. Ex. -Beowulf, the Iliad, and the Odyssey2.Literary Epic-written compositions that are unchangedover time. Ex. -Aeneid and Paradise Lost
BeowulfIn comparison to the standard of Homeric epics (15,000 lines) …Beowulfis relatively short (3,200 lines)It was probably composed (first written down)between 700-750 in Old English by a monk in ScandinaviaIt is thought a monk composed it due to the Christian elements in the epic
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Epic Characteristics•There are 5 main epic characteristics
Epic Characteristic #1The hero is a great leader who is identified strongly with a particular people or society.
Epic Characteristic #2The setting is broad and often includes supernatural realms, especially the land of the dead.
Epic Characteristic #3The hero does great deeds in battle or undertakes an extraordinary journey or quest.