What is an epic?i want short notes on it means everything related to an epic

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In an epic, the hero represents the male ideal. He is physically strong and seems almost superhuman. He also tends to receive assistance from the gods. This godly intervention is referred to as "machinery." The epic hero is brave and typically performs feats that require great courage and strength.

When the epic begins, the writer will invoke the Muse, speaking directly to her. Calliope, one of the nine Muses and a daughter of Zeus, is the Muse of epic poetry, and the speaker of the poem essentially prays to her to inspire him to tell the story well. Muses are associated with inspiration in general, and there is one Muse associated with each form of ancient art.

Further, it is standard to have the epic begin in medias res, a phrase that means into the midst of things, instead of at the beginning of the events described. Events from the past are only described later in the epic. We are dropped into the middle of the action rather than starting with a "Once upon a time," expository sort of opening.

Epithets are also quite common in epic poetry. Epithets in this context refer to brief descriptive words or phrases that appear before names or things. For example, in The Odyssey, Athena is often referred to as "grey-eyed Athena," the sunrise is "rosy-fingered dawn," and Odysseus's wife is "heedful Penelope." These epithets would aid with memory and meter.

cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Simply put, an epic is a long poem about gods or heroes.  The poem is written in the narrative style, which means that it tells a story.  An epic poem focuses on the actions and deeds of the hero. It is also written in an elevated style and it usually follows specific patterns, including announcing the subject at the beginning and asking for the help of a god or other supernatural force.

Ancient epics were recited for entertainment, which is amazing considering their lengths, and were not recorded in writing until long after they had become familiar to many.  Odyssey, which was written by Homer, is a very famous epic poem; other epics that may be familiar to you are The Iliad and Beowulf.  Recently, these epic poems have become the subjects of films such as Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou? and (the self-titled) Beowulf.

dorae | Student

a long poem, whose story extends over along period of time or tells agreat events