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Epic Poem Unit. Homer’s The Odyssey. What is an Epic?. A long narrative poem about a national or legendary hero. What is an Epic Hero?. Larger than life. Male, noble or legendary birth. Journey of struggles and hardships. Reflects values and ideals of a society. Background and History:.

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Epic Poem Unit

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Epic poem unit

Epic Poem Unit

Homer’s The Odyssey

Melissa Biggs 2010


What is an epic

What is an Epic?

  • A long narrative poem about a national or legendary hero.

Melissa Biggs 2010


What is an epic hero

What is an Epic Hero?

  • Larger than life.

  • Male, noble or legendary birth.

  • Journey of struggles and hardships.

  • Reflects values and ideals of a society.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Background and history

Background and History:

  • Epics incorporate myth, legend, folk tales, and history.

  • Reflects the values of the society from which it originates. (ex. Code of Hospitality)

  • Performance given by a Rhapsode, traveling poet, for live audiences.

  • 2 types of Epic: Primary and Secondary

Melissa Biggs 2010


Primary vs secondary epics

Primary vs. Secondary Epics:

  • Primary Epics – Epics that are passed orally from generation to generation, later written down.

    • Ex. Iliad and Odyssey

  • Secondary Epics – Epics that are written down.

    • Ex. Aeneid by Virgil, Dante’s Divine Comedia

Melissa Biggs 2010


Trojan war 1200 b c fact vs fiction

Fact: The cause of the Trojan War is thought to be economic in reason. Troy controlled the entrance to the Black Sea markets, Greece wanted access. Fight begins.

Fiction: Helen, wife of Menelaus (King of Sparta), kidnapped by Trojan Prince Paris. Spartans and Greeks unite, sail to Troy, and fight for her return. (Legend)

Trojan War (1200 b.c.):Fact vs. Fiction

Melissa Biggs 2010


Homer s iliad and odyssey

Iliad’s subject based on the ten year battle of the Trojan War.

Odysseus devises plan during truce that ultimately results in victory.

Troy’s patron gods angered at Odysseus, decide to punish him.

Odyssey’s subject is struggles faced by Odysseus on the ten year journey home.

Encounters monsters, supernatural beings, conflicts with nature, and interaction with gods/goddesses.

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey:

[Both written sometime between 600 – 800 b.c.]

Melissa Biggs 2010


Intervention of gods goddesses

Intervention of gods/goddesses:

  • Interact with one another like humans; interfere with human life.

  • Favor people and places.

  • Theme: Respect for the gods is essential for survival.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Odysseus s patron goddess

Odysseus’s Patron goddess:

  • Athena – the goddess of war and practical wisdom.

  • Favors the Greek cause in the Trojan War.

  • Aids Odysseus in his travels.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Gods against odysseus

Gods against Odysseus:

  • Poseidon – god of the seas. Angered because Odysseus injures his son.

  • Ares, Apollo, Artemis, and Aphrodite. The patron gods of Troy and supporters of Paris.

Melissa Biggs 2010


What is the setting

What is the Setting?

Melissa Biggs 2010


What is a plot strand

What is a Plot strand?

  • An essential part of the plot, these strands combine to create a bigger plot.

  • Action happens simulataneously.

  • Without one another the plot would be incomplete.

Melissa Biggs 2010


The odyssey s 1 st plot strand

The Odyssey’s 1st Plot Strand:

  • The story of Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, and their son, Telemachus, left at home for 20 years.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Odyssey s 2 nd plot strand

Odyssey’s 2nd Plot Strand:

  • The tale of Odysseus’s wanderings and struggles to return home 10 years after the Trojan War.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Odyssey s 3 rd plot strand

Odyssey’s 3rd Plot Strand:

  • The binding tale of Odysseus’s return and the unified fight against the suitors, those there to take his wife and kingdom.

Melissa Biggs 2010


What is an epic simile

An elaborate and descriptive comparison between 2 things using like, as, or than.

It is more involved than a regular simile.

Also called a Homeric simile.

“And Odysseus let the bright molten tears run down his cheeks, weeping [like] the way a wife mourns for her lord on the lost field where he has gone down fighting the day of wrath that came upon his children.”

What is an Epic Simile?

Melissa Biggs 2010


What is an epithet

Brief descriptive phrases that help to characterize a person, place, or thing.

Similar to a nickname.

“Son of Laertes and the gods of old, Odysseus, master mariner and soldier, you shall not stay here against your will…”

What is an Epithet?

Melissa Biggs 2010


The craft of the odyssey

The Craft of the Odyssey:

  • The Odyssey is a form of Oral Poetry, spoken and passed, recited to the music of a lyre by a bard (a musical poet).

  • Contains figurative language such as symbolism, similes, metaphors, personification, epic similes, and epithets.

  • Written down in form of a poem (a type of literature in which words are chosen and arranged to create a certain effect).

Melissa Biggs 2010


In media res

In Media Res

  • In media res means “in the middle of things.”

  • The Odyssey begins in the middle of the action. Odysseus has landed in Phaecia after his travels; he relates his story and is given leave to home where he will fight the suitors and claim his wife.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Invocation to the muse

A muse is one of nine goddesses that are called upon by poets for inspiration.

The Invocation to the Muse begins the opening of the Odyssey. Homer requests help from the goddess of the arts.

“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy.”

Invocation to the Muse:

Melissa Biggs 2010


Literary terms

Literary Terms:

EpicConflictMyth

Epic HeroMonologueProtagonist

Epic SimileExt. MetaphorAntagonist

MetaphorImageryPrimary

SimileFlashbackSecondary

PersonificationNarrative PoemEpithet

ForeshadowingSituational IronySuspense

In Media ResDramatic Irony

Melissa Biggs 2010


Metaphor

Metaphor

  • A comparison of two things that does not use like, as, or than.

  • Says one thing is another.

  • Ex. “Harvey was a bear in business.”

Melissa Biggs 2010


Simile

Simile

  • A comparison of two different things using like, as, or than.

  • Ex. “Odysseus’ men were as savage as wolves.”

Melissa Biggs 2010


Personification

Personification

  • Giving human qualities to something nonhuman.

  • Ex. “The sun’s fingertips crept over the horizon.”

Melissa Biggs 2010


Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing

  • Hints or clues that suggest the outcome.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Suspense

Suspense

  • High emotion or tension from the unknown that keeps the reader interested.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Conflict

Conflict

  • Struggle between opposing forces.

  • External: Man v. Man, Nature, Supernatural, and Society.

  • Internal: Man v. Himself.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Imagery

Imagery

  • Words that appeal to the five senses of sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing.

  • Ex. “The ripe-red juicy strawberries were cool to the tongue.”

Melissa Biggs 2010


Flashback

Flashback

  • A pause in present action so that the character may visit the past.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Monologue

Monologue

  • A long speech given in the company of other characters.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Extended metaphor

Extended Metaphor

  • An extended or more involved comparison of two things not using like, as, or than.

  • Odysseus’ men were snails, doomed by the gods to crawl toward their goals slowly and with great effort.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Narrative poem

Narrative Poem

  • A poem that tells a story. Written in verse and may rhyme.

  • Typically contains characters and setting with elements of plot.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Situational irony

Situational Irony

  • When what you expect to happen does not, and the opposite usually does.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Dramatic irony

Dramatic Irony

  • When the reader or audience knows something that a character does not.

  • Adds suspense.

  • What’s behind the door?

Melissa Biggs 2010


Epic poem unit

Myth

  • Oral stories that man created to explain the world and natural phenomena around him.

  • Reflects the ideals and religion of the society.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Protagonist

Protagonist

  • The main character or hero.

  • In epics, the hero usually embodies the ideals of the society.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Antagonist

Antagonist

  • The anti-hero or force that works against the hero.

  • Sometimes referred to as the villian.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Epic poem unit

Epic

NEW!

  • A long narrative poem about a national or legendary hero.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Epic hero

Epic Hero

NEW!

  • A larger than life main character of an epic that is male, and of noble or legendary birth.

  • He encounters struggles and hardships on his journey.

  • He reflects the values and ideals of a society.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Plot strand

Plot strand

NEW!

  • One piece of a bigger plot. The action in all the plots happens simultaneously to create one larger plot.

Melissa Biggs 2010


Epic simile

An elaborate and descriptive comparison between 2 things using like, as, or than; it is more involved than a regular simile.

Also called a Homeric simile.

“And Odysseus let the bright molten tears run down his cheeks, weeping [like] the way a wife mourns for her lord on the lost field where he has gone down fighting the day of wrath that came upon his children.”

Epic Simile

NEW!

Melissa Biggs 2010


Epithet

Brief descriptive phrases that help to characterize a person, place, or thing.

Similar to a nickname.

“Son of Laertes and the gods of old, Odysseus, master mariner and soldier, you shall not stay here against your will…”

Epithet

NEW!

Melissa Biggs 2010


In media res1

In Media Res

NEW!

  • Literally translated it means “in the middle of things.”

  • A story whose action begins in the middle and flashes back to the beginning.

Melissa Biggs 2010


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