Monday, March 14, 2011

THE EPIC / The Telemachy

Read "The Telemachy" (the first four cantos of The Odyssey). Your questions and discussion about The Telemachy should be posted here by Friday.

An epic is or tends to have the following characteristics: 
  • A long narrative poem
  • On a serious subject
  • Contains journeys
  • Written in a grand or elevated style
  • Centered on a larger-than-life hero
  • An opening in medias res
  • An invocation to the Muse
  • A concern with the fate of a nation or people
  • A correspondingly large scale, often ranging around the world (and in Milton's case, beyond the earth and into heaven)
  • The intervention of supernatural figures, who are interested in the outcome of the action (the system of gods, demons, angels, and such is often called machinery)
  • Extended metaphors and similes, generally called epic metaphor and epic similes
  • Epithets are used for characters 
  • Long catalogues, whether of characters, genealogy, ships, or places
  • Extensive battle scenes
  • Usually there is a visit to the underworld


  1. yeah my classnotes look like this being that yo uwere reading it of to us

  2. Indeeed sir! I'm actually not too good in Greek literature because I have horrible memory of the gods.... (Notice how I didn't capitalize the word 'gods").

    Wish me Luck!

  3. Balgley said...
    The glass is half full Raymond, not half empty. I will help everyone with pronouncing the significant names. Please don't let your past imperfect memory of the gods interfere with your present enjoyment and appreciation of THE ODYSSEY. I missed you guys today. Use your time wisely and read Fagle's translation of the first two cantos. Although Knox's introduction is exceptionally good, please do not allow yourself to get bogged down reading it.
    MARCH 15, 2011 7:58 AM