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Presentation is loading. Please wait.  The First Epic Songs – hymn of praise or thanksgiving  Maintaining a record of the great deeds and history of a culture.  Poetic form used.

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Presentation on theme: "  The First Epic Songs – hymn of praise or thanksgiving  Maintaining a record of the great deeds and history of a culture.  Poetic form used."— Presentation transcript:


2  The First Epic Songs – hymn of praise or thanksgiving  Maintaining a record of the great deeds and history of a culture.  Poetic form used to aid memorization – music to maintain meter, repetition, habitual phrases and eptithets  Sound Devices

3  Long narrative poem  Written in an elevated style  Celebrates the deeds of a legendary hero or god  Concern eternal human problems such as the conflict between GOOD and EVIL (What does it mean to be human?)

4  Number One: The hero is a great leader who is identified strongly with a particular people or society.  Big 4, #2

5  The oldest surviving epic in British literature  6 th Century Denmark and Sweden  The Geatish prince Beowulf hears of his neighbors’ plight, and sails to their aid with a band of warriors.  Hero – Strength AND courage

6  The setting is broad and often includes supernatural realms, especially the land of the dead.

7  The hero does great deeds in battle or undertakes an extraordinary journey or quest. Kpe4.blogspot. com

8  Sometimes gods or other supernatural or fantastic beings take part in the action.

9  The story is told in heightened language  The Goddess, Ninsun, prays for her son, “Protect him each day as you cross the sky, and at twilight may Aya your bride entrust him to the valiant stars, the watchmen of the night. O Lord Shamash, glorious sun, delight of the gods, illuminator of the world, who rise and the light is born, it fills the heavens, the whole earth takes shape, the mountains form, the valleys grow bright, darkness vanishes, evil retreats, all creatures wake up and open their eyes, they see you, they are filled with joy.”

10  There is an INVOCATION or formal plea for aid/help. This plea is usually to a deity or some other spiritual power.

11  The action begins IN MEDIA RES “in the middle of things”  The epic begins in media res and then flashes back to events that took place before the narrator’s current time setting

12  Epic Similes - elaborately extended comparisons relating heroic events to simple, everyday events using like, as, so, and just as.  “Her mind in torment, wheeling like some lion at bay, dreading the gangs of hunters closing their cunning ring around him for the finish.” (The Odyssey)

13  "But he found the whole company lying in heaps in the blood and dust, like fish that the fishermen have dragged out of the grey surf in the meshes of their net on to a curving beach.”

14  Epithet: a descriptive phrase that presents a particular trait of a person or thing. It can be a quick aid to characterization. Odysseus is a “raider of cities.” Odysseus is “a man skilled in all ways of contending.”

15  Internal Conflict- Struggle that takes place within the mind of a character who is torn between opposing feelings and desires  External Conflict- When a character struggles against some outside force… Person, nature, society, or fate.  (Big 4)

16  11 Clay Tablets (story)  Various adventures of hero-king searching for immortality  Epic poem from Mesopotamia  Characters › Gilgamesh (2/3 god & 1/3 human) › Enkidu (wild man)

17  Meets Enkidu (BFF)  1st trip to Land of Cedars to kill Humbaba  Later slays the Bull of Heaven › Angers gods=suffering  Seeks Utnapishtim & finds heartache  Returns to Uruk and writes his story

18  The epic hero is a LARGER THAN LIFE PERSON who embodies the highest ideals of his culture

19  “Surpassing all kings, powerful and tall beyond all others, violent, splendid, a wild bull of a man, unvanquished leader, hero in the front lines, beloved by his soldiers – fortress they called him, protector of the people, raging flood that destroys all defenses.”

20  The epic hero usually undertakes a QUEST/ JOURNEY to achieve something of great value to themselves or society hh

21 LIVE ON AFTER DEATH… meaning they are forever remembered by those who live after them… achieving a type of IMMORTALITY Myth

22  Overcomes great obstacles/opponents but maintains HUMANITY  Experiences typical HUMAN EMOTIONS/ FEELINGS

23  It is often necessary for the epic hero to connect/make contact with “LESSER” humans in order to succeed

24  Separation  Initiation  Return  Joseph Campbell and the ‘monomyth’  Common patterns through all myths/stories/hero journeys.


26  Call to Adventure  Refusal to the Call  Meeting with the Mentor  Crossing the First Threshold

27  The Road of Trials  Approach  The Ordeal  The Reward

28  The Road Back  The Resurrection  Return with the Elixir

29  Did he exist?  Creator of the Epic Poems The Iliad and The Odyssey  Most likely a minstrel › Traveling singer/storyteller  Poems were oral for centuries before written down

30  Main topic of The Iliad by Homer and latter The Aeneid by Virgil  Achaeans vs. Trojans (10 yrs.)

31  Tale of Odysseus  10 yrs. in Trojan War  10 yrs. to get home  Adventures including a trip to the Land of the Lotus Eaters, a battle with Polyphemus the Cyclops, a love affair with the witch- goddess Circe, temptation by the deadly Sirens, a journey into Hades to consult the prophet Tiresias, and a fight with the sea monster Scylla.

32  1st Epic Poem written in English, Old English  Author Unknown  Adventure of a great Scandinavian warrior  Literary Devices: Alliteration, repetition, meter, caesura, kennings, litotes  Themes: Good vs. Evil, Wealth, Sanctity, Loyalty, Courage, Heroism, Fate

33  Set in Denmark and Geatland  6th Century  Herot- mead hall

34  Stories are still being passed down from generation to generation.  We see these same plots, heroes, struggles, archetypes, and events happening in life today.  References to these epic poems pervade our literature and movies.

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