Unit: Understanding the influence of Homer’s Odyssey

Download Report

Transcript Unit: Understanding the influence of Homer’s Odyssey

What is an epic?
the hero is of imposing stature, of national or
international importance, and of great
historical or legendary significance;
the setting is vast, covering great nations, the
world, or the universe;
the action or plot consists of deeds of great
valor or requiring superhuman courage;
supernatural forces—gods, angels, and
demons—interest themselves in the action;
a style of sustained elevation is used; and
the poet retains a measure of objectivity—
that is, the poet does not intrude with his
views on the action; he simply reports on the
action, leaving the audience to infer which
characters’ values are worthy and which are
To these general characteristics (some of which
are omitted from particular epics) should be
added a list of common devices employed by
most epic poets:
 the poet opens by stating the theme,
 invoking a muse (invocation,) and
 beginning the narrative in medias res—in the
middle of things—giving the necessary
exposition later;
the poet includes catalogs or lists of warriors,
ships, armies; describes the details of feasts
there are extended formal speeches by the
main character;
and the poet makes frequent use of epithets
to characterize and the epic simile, also
known as the Homeric simile, and the
epithet—two devices that reveal and enliven
characters, places, and events.
To entertain the audience
To instruct the young on proper behavior
To elevate the society’s history
To impart a sense of a glorious history to the
To create a link between the generations in
the society
To create shared values in the society
To warn future generations about what harms
or even destroys individuals, groups, nations