February 7, 2019
There are many different ways to identify a form of writing by analyzing specific details. These details include, but are not limited to the style, subject matter, or characters. Each form of writing, such as poetry, prose, novels, and many others, contain unique components that one could use to identify the type of work being read. An epic is a form of writing that can be easily identified if the components of an epic are known. In the epic The Iliad, written by Homer, there are numerous examples of the epic elements being used.
Right at the beginning of the story in Book 1, there is a combination of two elements that help to identify the work as an epic. First, an invocation of the divine- a calling to the Gods for advice or help. Homer calls upon the Goddess of divine poetry. The opening line of the book reads: “Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus and its devastation, which puts pain thousandfold upon the Achaians…” (P. 59) Here, the speaker is calling to a goddess, asking her for guidance as he embarks on telling the story. Short after, the speaker asks The epic question- a question asked that starts the story and begins to provide answers on what has happened. “What God was it then set them together in bitter collision?” (P. 59) This question leads the speaker into the story by beginning to provide some context as to what is going on in the book.
Another key aspect of an epic is that an epic is almost always framed around a hero’s struggle with pride. A hero’s pride is crucial to the plot because it is evident that the hero will do whatever it takes to ensure that their pride remains intact. Achilleus, the central focus of the story and the epic hero, is the leader of ...