Literature & Language

What are epics?

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10/30/2007

In literature an epic is a (usually lengthy) narrative in verse. In addition to the narrative there is also description and there is an important element of vastness and heroism. The earliest epics were oral and were only written down later. Famous examples of epics include The Odyssey, The Iliad and The Aeneid, also The Epic of Gilgamesh, and much later Beowulf. It is often said that since about 1700 the epic has been 'replaced' by the novel as the main form of narrative. The term epic is also used figuratively of some blockbuster films concerned with conflict and heroism on a grandiose scale. Joncey