Warm Up • In today’s world what does Epicmean? Define, using an example.
Epic • An epic is long narrative poem that recounts, in formal language, the exploits of a larger-than-life hero. • Epics can be viewed as way to tell history. • They existed when most people were illiterate. • Epics can be found in most cultures around the world.
Epic Examples • Epic of Gilgamesh: Sumerian (presently Iraq). • El Cid: Spanish. • The Song of Roland: French. • The Oddyssey & Iliad: Greek. • TODAY’s Epic Heroes: Superman, Luke Skywalker….any others?
Epic Form • Poetic lines w/regular meter and rhythm. • Main characters have heroic or superhuman qualities. • Gods or godlike beings intervene in the events. • Actions of a huge scale, involving fates of entire peoples. • Stories begin at a critical point.
Epic Literary Devices Greek Epics use… Epithet: word or brief phrase to characterize a person, place or thing. Example: The goddess Athena is “gray-haired”. The sea is “wine-dark”. Beowulf uses… kennings: standardized comparisons. Example: A king is “ring-giver”. The sea is a “whale-road”. THEY BOTH MOLD IDEAS INTO PEOTIC FORMS.
Epic Hero • Man, sorry ladies! • High social status • Skill as warrior, quick wit, nobility of character • Fate affects the destiny of his people • Almost always defeats the enemy • Rarely modest, often boasting • Courage, Loyalty, Endurance/Strength
Responding and Thinking Critically, p21Choose one questions, 75 words minimum • In your opinion, what are today’s epics? How do modern audiences differ from ancient ones in their responses to epics? • Identify three characteristics that we might expect today’s epic heroes to exhibit. • Which characteristics of the traditional epic hero might be difficult for readers today to accept? • How are epithets and kennings simlimar and different.