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What is EPIC POETRY? What does EPIC POETRY mean? EPIC POETRY meaning, definition & explanation
What is EPIC POETRY? What does EPIC POETRY mean? EPIC POETRY meaning, definition & explanation
Published: 2017/01/31
Channel: The Audiopedia
How to Read Epic Poetry without Losing Your Mind
How to Read Epic Poetry without Losing Your Mind
Published: 2014/11/07
Channel: Jay Pawlyk
NERD PICKS UP GIRL WITH EPIC POEM!
NERD PICKS UP GIRL WITH EPIC POEM!
Published: 2014/12/17
Channel: BigDawsTv
How to Write an Epic Poem
How to Write an Epic Poem
Published: 2015/05/19
Channel: eHow
Poetry Reading, Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher. November 30, 2015.
Poetry Reading, Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher. November 30, 2015.
Published: 2015/12/01
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
Epic Poetry Workshop, Frederick Glaysher, AIPF
Epic Poetry Workshop, Frederick Glaysher, AIPF
Published: 2012/10/01
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian
The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian
Published: 2014/06/09
Channel: Peter Pringle
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, AIPF
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, AIPF
Published: 2012/10/07
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
What is an Epic?
What is an Epic?
Published: 2014/09/02
Channel: DCSMrsFudge
EPIC POETRY 「Blind Justice ~それぞれの正義~」
EPIC POETRY 「Blind Justice ~それぞれの正義~」
Published: 2010/12/24
Channel: TeirusuFX
Poetry for Middle Schoolers - Epic and Lyric Poetry
Poetry for Middle Schoolers - Epic and Lyric Poetry
Published: 2015/08/10
Channel: Mometrix Academy
Poetry Reading, Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher. October 28, 2016
Poetry Reading, Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher. October 28, 2016
Published: 2016/12/05
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
conventions of epic poetry
conventions of epic poetry
Published: 2010/10/30
Channel: erck115
Beowulf: An Epic Poem
Beowulf: An Epic Poem
Published: 2015/08/28
Channel: Debbie Hudson
Epic Poetry Conventions
Epic Poetry Conventions
Published: 2013/12/02
Channel: Monica Kirschmann
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, Barnes & Noble, AIPF
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, Barnes & Noble, AIPF
Published: 2012/10/02
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
AP World Greatest Hits: An Epic Poem of the Farces and Tragedies of History
AP World Greatest Hits: An Epic Poem of the Farces and Tragedies of History
Published: 2013/06/06
Channel: Leon Overweel
Boshra
Boshra's epic poem about Oral-B... enjoy!
Published: 2014/07/27
Channel: sean mortaz
Was Milton
Was Milton's Paradise Lost the Last of the Great Epic Poem? | Wes Callihan and Peter Leithart
Published: 2017/03/20
Channel: Roman Roads Media
Epic Poetry
Epic Poetry
Published: 2014/10/12
Channel: Valerie Campbell
"What is an Epic?" by Anthony M. Esolen
"What is an Epic?" by Anthony M. Esolen
Published: 2015/09/23
Channel: Hillsdale College
Overly Sarcastic Podcast: Blue Talks Epic Poetry
Overly Sarcastic Podcast: Blue Talks Epic Poetry
Published: 2016/05/19
Channel: Overly Sarcastic Productions
Paradise Lost (epic poem, full book)
Paradise Lost (epic poem, full book)
Published: 2014/04/04
Channel: audiobooksfree
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, The Parliament of Poets, Selections 2015 - 2017
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, The Parliament of Poets, Selections 2015 - 2017
Published: 2017/07/15
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
Ancient Aryans and the Ramayana Epic Poem
Ancient Aryans and the Ramayana Epic Poem
Published: 2016/09/04
Channel: Robert Sepehr
Epic Poetry Questions & Answers, Frederick Glaysher, The Parliament of Poets
Epic Poetry Questions & Answers, Frederick Glaysher, The Parliament of Poets
Published: 2013/04/22
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
Homer Biography
Homer Biography
Published: 2012/05/15
Channel: CloudBiography
Mrs. Firth
Mrs. Firth's Conventions of the Epic Poem and Epic Hero
Published: 2016/08/17
Channel: Mrs. Firth
Epic Poetry Reading, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Michigan, June 2017
Epic Poetry Reading, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Michigan, June 2017
Published: 2017/06/13
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
Epic Poetry Reading, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 2017
Epic Poetry Reading, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 2017
Published: 2017/05/17
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
"The Legend" by SIMACE  (War/Hurt/Comfort Epic Poem)
"The Legend" by SIMACE (War/Hurt/Comfort Epic Poem)
Published: 2015/03/22
Channel: Soliloquy Man
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, Albany Word Fest, April 21, 2012
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, Albany Word Fest, April 21, 2012
Published: 2012/04/23
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Published: 2012/10/08
Channel: Neanderthal78
In Which I Fangirl Over Epic Poetry
In Which I Fangirl Over Epic Poetry
Published: 2016/04/25
Channel: Paiges & Pages
Guide to Ancient Literature: Epic Poetry
Guide to Ancient Literature: Epic Poetry
Published: 2017/05/29
Channel: Libby Stephenson
World
World's Most Epic Music Ever: Iron Poetry
Published: 2014/07/07
Channel: MrEpicOSTs
EPIC POETRY 「Blind Justice ~Torn souls, Hurt Faiths~」
EPIC POETRY 「Blind Justice ~Torn souls, Hurt Faiths~」
Published: 2010/12/24
Channel: TeirusuFX
Staceyann Chin- Epic Poetry Performance
Staceyann Chin- Epic Poetry Performance
Published: 2013/04/07
Channel: freespeechtv
Robert Hayden, Space Traveler, & Epic Poetry Reading. Poetry Month 2017
Robert Hayden, Space Traveler, & Epic Poetry Reading. Poetry Month 2017
Published: 2017/04/23
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
Elements of an Epic
Elements of an Epic
Published: 2012/10/12
Channel: Asya Wilson
The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream, [Apollonian Epic Poetry Audiobook] by John Keats
The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream, [Apollonian Epic Poetry Audiobook] by John Keats
Published: 2015/06/07
Channel: Free Audio Books for Intellectual Exercise
The Iliad Part 1: The World
The Iliad Part 1: The World's Most Epic Poem
Published: 2014/05/14
Channel: Emmy Schafer
Fidget Spinner King (DEMO: World
Fidget Spinner King (DEMO: World's greatest Fidget Spinner. EPIC poetry)
Published: 2017/04/24
Channel: Mr Peek's Poetry Funtime
Invention of Writing and the Epic Poem
Invention of Writing and the Epic Poem
Published: 2014/07/14
Channel: Len Probert
Ancient Epic Poetry Homer, Apollonius, Virgil
Ancient Epic Poetry Homer, Apollonius, Virgil
Published: 2016/08/02
Channel: Mary Skipworth
Story of Beowulf
Story of Beowulf
Published: 2015/09/22
Channel: Brigitte Lehman
Epic Poetry Interview, Frederick Glaysher, Kerrytown BookFest, Ann Arbor, Michigan 2016
Epic Poetry Interview, Frederick Glaysher, Kerrytown BookFest, Ann Arbor, Michigan 2016
Published: 2016/09/15
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry
Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry
Published: 2016/11/07
Channel: K Johnson
Best epic celtic music instrumental - Fantasy 2015
Best epic celtic music instrumental - Fantasy 2015
Published: 2015/05/06
Channel: Best Music Compilation
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, Robert Hayden Centennial Conference and Poetry Tribute
Epic Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, Robert Hayden Centennial Conference and Poetry Tribute
Published: 2013/11/07
Channel: Frederick Glaysher
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Tablet containing a fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh

An epic poem, epic, epos, or epopee is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation.[1]

Milman Parry and Albert Lord have argued that the Homeric epics, the earliest works of Western literature, were fundamentally an oral poetic form. These works form the basis of the epic genre in Western literature. Nearly all of Western epic (including Virgil's Aeneid and Dante's Divine Comedy) self-consciously presents itself as a continuation of the tradition begun by these poems. Classical epic poetry employs a meter called dactylic hexameter and recounts a journey, either physical (as typified by Odysseus in the Odyssey) or mental (as typified by Achilles in the Iliad) or both. Epics also tend to highlight cultural norms and to define or call into question cultural values, particularly as they pertain to heroism.

Another type of epic poetry is epyllion (plural: epyllia), which is a brief narrative poem with a romantic or mythological theme. The term, which means "little epic", came into use in the nineteenth century. It refers primarily to the erudite, shorter hexameter poems of the Hellenistic period and the similar works composed at Rome from the age of the neoterics; to a lesser degree, the term includes some poems of the English Renaissance, particularly those influenced by Ovid.[citation needed] The most famous example of classical epyllion is perhaps Catullus 64.

Some of the most famous examples of epic poetry include the Ancient Greek Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, the ancient Indian Mahabharata, the Old English Beowulf, Dante's Divine Comedy, the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, John Milton's Paradise Lost, the French Song of Roland, the Finnish Kalevala, and the German Nibelungenlied.

Etymology[edit]

The English word Epic comes from the Latin epicus, which itself comes from the Ancient Greek adjective ἐπικός (epikos), from ἔπος (epos),[2] "word, story, poem"[3].

The English "epos" is likewise from the Latin epos, from Greek ἔπος, epos[4]

The word "epopee" is from French épopée, from neo-Latin epopoeia, from Ancient Greek ἐποποιία (epopoiia).[5]

Oral epics or world folk epics[edit]

The first epics were products of preliterate societies and oral history poetic traditions.[citation needed] In these traditions, poetry is transmitted to the audience and from performer to performer by purely oral means. Early twentieth-century study of living oral epic traditions in the Balkans by Milman Parry and Albert Lord demonstrated the paratactic model used for composing these poems. What they demonstrated was that oral epics tend to be constructed in short episodes, each of equal status, interest and importance. This facilitates memorization, as the poet is recalling each episode in turn and using the completed episodes to recreate the entire epic as he performs it. Parry and Lord also contend that the most likely source for written texts of the epics of Homer was dictation from an oral performance.

Poets in literate societies have sometimes copied the epic format. The earliest surviving European examples are the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes and Virgil's Aeneid, which follow both the style and subject matter of Homer. Other obvious examples are Nonnus' Dionysiaca, Tulsidas' Sri Ramacharit Manas.

Composition and conventions[edit]

In his work Poetics, Aristotle defines an epic as one of the forms of poetry, contrasted with lyric poetry and with drama in the form of tragedy and comedy.[6]

In A Handbook to Literature (1999), Harmon and Holman define an epic:

Epic: a long narrative poem in elevated style presenting characters of high position in adventures forming an organic whole through their relation to a central heroic figure and through their development of episodes important to the history of a nation or race. (Harmon and Holman)[7]

An attempt to delineate ten main characteristics of an epic:[7]

  1. Begins in medias res.
  2. The setting is vast, covering many nations, the world or the universe.
  3. Begins with an invocation to a muse (epic invocation).
  4. Begins with a statement of the theme.
  5. Includes the use of epithets.
  6. Contains long lists, called an epic catalogue.
  7. Features long and formal speeches.
  8. Shows divine intervention on human affairs.
  9. Features heroes that embody the values of the civilization.
  10. Often features the tragic hero's descent into the Underworld or hell.

The hero generally participates in a cyclical journey or quest, faces adversaries that try to defeat him in his journey and returns home significantly transformed by his journey. The epic hero illustrates traits, performs deeds, and exemplifies certain morals that are valued by the society the epic originates from. Many epic heroes are recurring characters in the legends of their native culture.

Conventions of epics:[citation needed]

  1. Preposition: Opens by stating the theme or cause of the epic. This may take the form of a purpose (as in Milton, who proposed "to justify the ways of God to men"); of a question (as in the Iliad, which Homer initiates by asking a Muse to sing of Achilles' anger); or of a situation (as in the Song of Roland, with Charlemagne in Spain).[citation needed]
  2. Invocation: Writer invokes a Muse, one of the nine daughters of Zeus. The poet prays to the Muses to provide him with divine inspiration to tell the story of a great hero. (This convention is restricted to cultures influenced by European Classical culture. The Epic of Gilgamesh, for example, or the Bhagavata Purana do not contain this element.)
  3. In medias res: narrative opens "in the middle of things", with the hero at his lowest point. Usually flashbacks show earlier portions of the story.
  4. Enumeratio: Catalogues and genealogies are given. These long lists of objects, places, and people place the finite action of the epic within a broader, universal context. Often, the poet is also paying homage to the ancestors of audience members.
  5. Epithet: Heavy use of repetition or stock phrases: e.g., Homer's "rosy-fingered dawn" and "wine-dark sea".

Form[edit]

Many verse forms have been used in epic poems through the ages, but each language's literature typically gravitates to one form, or at least to a very limited set. Ancient Greek and Latin poems were written in dactylic hexameter.[8] Old English, German and Norse poems were written in alliterative verse,[9] usually without rhyme. Italian, Spanish and Portuguese long poems were usually written in terza rima [10] or especially ottava rima.[11] From the 14th century English epic poems were written in heroic couplets,[12] and rhyme royal,[13] though in the 16th century the Spenserian stanza[14] and blank verse[15] were also introduced. The French alexandrine is currently the heroic line in French literature, though in earlier periods the decasyllable took precedence. In Polish literature, couplets of Polish alexandrines (syllabic lines of 7+6 syllables) prevail.[16] In Russian, iambic tetrameter verse is the most popular.[17] In Serbian poetry, the decasyllable is the only form employed.[18][19]

Notable epic poems[edit]

The first page of the Beowulf manuscript, 8th to 10th century.
This list can be compared with two others, national epic and list of world folk-epics.[20]

Ancient epics (to 500)[edit]

20th to 10th century BC[edit]

8th to 6th century BC[edit]

8th century BC to 3rd century AD[edit]

3rd century BC[edit]

1st century BC[edit]

1st century AD[edit]

2nd century[edit]

2nd to 5th century[edit]

3rd to 4th century[edit]

4th century[edit]

5th century[edit]

Medieval epics (500–1500)[edit]

Statue of Iranian poet Ferdowsi in Rome, Italy. Ferdowsi's national epic Shahnameh played an important role in revival of Iranian patriotism and the Persian language after both were systematically suppressed by the Arab occupation of Iran

7th century[edit]

8th to 10th century[edit]

11th century[edit]

The Knight in the Panther's Skin by Shota Rustaveli, one of the greatest Georgian poets.

12th century[edit]

13th century[edit]

14th century[edit]

15th century[edit]

Modern epics (from 1500)[edit]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

Other epics[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Meyer, The Bedford Introduction to Literature (Bedford: St. Martin's, 2005), 2128. ISBN 0-312-41242-8.
  2. ^ "epic". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Epic Online Etymology Dictionary
  4. ^ "epos". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "epopee". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ Aristotle: Poetics, translated with an introduction and notes by M. Heath, (Penguin) London 1996
  7. ^ a b Taken from William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature, 8th ed., Prentice Hall, 1999.
  8. ^ Hexameter, poetry at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  9. ^ Alliterative verse literature at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  10. ^ Terza rima, poetic form at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  11. ^ Ottava rima, poetic form at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  12. ^ Heroic couplet, poetry at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  13. ^ Rhyme royal, poetic form at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  14. ^ Spenserian stanza, poetic form at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  15. ^ Blank verse, poetic form at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  16. ^ See: Trzynastozgłoskowiec, [in:] Wiktor Jarosław Darasz, Mały przewodnik po wierszu polskim, Kraków 2003 (in Polish).
  17. ^ [Alexandra Smith, Montaging Pushkin: Pushkin and Visions of Modernity in Russian Twentieth Century Poetry, p. 184.]
  18. ^ Meyer, Early Tahitian Poetics.
  19. ^ Robert William Seton-Watson, The Spirit of the Serb.
  20. ^ According to that article, world folk epics are those that are not just literary masterpieces, but also an integral part of the world view of a people, originally oral, later written down by one or several authors.
  21. ^ Fallon, Oliver. Bhatti's Poem: The Death of Rávana (Bhaṭṭikāvya). New York 2009: Clay Sanskrit Library, [1]. ISBN 978-0-8147-2778-2, ISBN 0-8147-2778-6.
  22. ^ "The Lusiads". World Digital Library. 1800–1882. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  23. ^ Pender, Patricia (2012). Early Modern Women's Writing and the Rhetoric of Modesty. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 166. ISBN 9781137008015. 
  24. ^ a b Stephen Greenblatt et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, volume D, 9th edition (Norton, 2012)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Jan de Vries: Heroic Song and Heroic Legend ISBN 0-405-10566-5.
  • Hashmi, Alamgir (2011). "Eponymous Écriture and the Poetics of Reading a Transnational Epic". Dublin Quarterly, 15. 
  • Cornel Heinsdorff: Christus, Nikodemus und die Samaritanerin bei Juvencus. Mit einem Anhang zur lateinischen Evangelienvorlage, Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte 67, Berlin/New York 2003, ISBN 3-11-017851-6.

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