Today’s topic on tweetspeak is epic poetry, with a short description of epic prose:
“An epic, specifically, is a genre of classical poetry which originated in Greece. The word comes from the ancient Greek word epos, which means “poetic utterance.”
As an extended narrative in verse form, the epic retells and explains the heroic journey of one person, or a group. Blending highly stylized, lyrical language with superhuman feats and fantastic adventures, the elements of the epic are formed. If you were to examine some of the oldest written narratives, you’d find many of them to be written in epic form. Some examples include: Gilgamesh, Mahâbhârata, Iliad, Odyssey, Beowulf, and Aeneid.
The epic carried important cultural truths but, as M. I. Finley puts it,
‘Whatever else the epic may have been, it was not history. It was narrative, detailed and precise, with minute description of fighting and sailing, and feasting and burials and sacrifices, all very real and vivid; it may even contain, buried away, some kernels of historical fact—but it was not history.'”