I wasn’t sure which blog to put this on but I thought this might be a good post for this one (unti I figure out if I’m going to include ‘books’ and reading in my Entertainment blog
Few have better expressed the tumultuous rise and fall of civilizations better than the great Epic poets of ancient and modern times. By combining elevated language with war, betrayal, romance, adventure, and a whole lot of reflection, these twenty lengthy tomes have captured the essence of whole peoples in single (albeit gigantic) works, ranging from semi-fictional accounts of war to satirical mockeries of misguided heroism.
Epic poetry–or heroic poetry, as some of the medieval poets have called it–follows a certain time-tested formula to portray such grand representations of heroes and their followers. Here are a few recurring patterns to keep in mind when considering these texts:
- The invocation of a muse. These poets plea to the gods at the very beginning to grant them the power to tell these stories with a certain forcefulness, though some admittedly pretend to do so to claim they are divinely empowered.
- Many of these…
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