History of English Literature: A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers :
Epic and Mock Epic
- Epic: The epic poetry is a long narrated poem recounting heroic action usually of one principal hero.
- Among the early epics 'The Mahabharata' and ‘The Ramayana’ in India and Homer’s, a Greek epic poet , ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey’ in ancient Greek are the only well known classical epic.
- The epic has certain characteristic. It begins with ‘The Proposition’ i.e. the statement of the themes and the ‘Invocation’ or ‘Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’ which is an imitation of Homer’s Iliad and Milton’s ‘Paradises Lost’ which follows Virgil’s Aeneid, both begin with a clearly define, propulsive and invocation.
- In the epic contains a no of thrilling episodes and digressive such as the mustering of troops battles, duels wanderings, ordeals and the like. The incredible advent so, narrated excite, wonder and admiration. Read More about A to Z (Objective Questions)
- Supernatural agents of control the action of the epic. In Homer and Virgil, there are classical God and Goodness, supernatural agencies fight on both sides-Good and evil.
- In Milton’s Paradise Lost, of course, there are only two human characters, and they are almost passive of Hell and Heaven.
- The epic is divided in to books usually 12 in number, though the 'Iliad' and ‘The Odyssey’ have 24 books each.
- The epic employee’s creation conventional poetic devices are such as the Homeric Epithets and the Homeric similes.
- The epic has a moral purpose. In Homer and Virgil, there is little beyond the appeal to patriotism and national pride. Read More about A to Z (Objective Questions)
- It was the Italian poet Tasso, who introduced the moral and didactic elements into his Jerusalem Delivered’ completed in 1579. The purpose of Milton’s Paradise Lost is to justify the ways of God to man.
- The epic continued to be written all through the 17th century but it was Milton alone who could write a successful epic in the class style.
- The ‘Paradise Lost’ is the only classical epic in England language in 18th century age was not suited to epic or heroic poetry .
- But instead of this, Wordsworth’s ‘The Prelude’ is known as one of the greatest romantic epics of the Romantic Age.
- The romantic epic is different from the classical epic in the sense that while the classical epic is coherent and well-knit, the roman epic is incoherent and loose in stricture. Read More about A to Z (Objective Questions)
- It seems that the modern age is not suited to epic poetry because it has neither the heroic temper nor the requisite leisure.
- Literary, or art, epics are the creation of known poets who consciously employ a long-established form. Like folk epics, literary epics deal with the traditions, mythical or historical, of a nation.
- The Iliad and the Odyssey are regarded as literary epics. In Rome, national epic poetry reached its highest achievement in the 1st century bc. In such time Aeneid- one of the world's greatest literary epics, by the poet Virgil.
- Mock Epic: Mock Epic is a literary from which parodies epic poetry by treating a trivial subject in a purpose manner.
- It mocks the characteristics of the classical epics the formal statement of theme, the division into the books and cantos, the grand speeches of the hero, the use of epic simile and the use of supernatural machinery. Read More about A to Z (Objective Questions)
- The mock epic poem is much shortens than a true epic. Some prefer to all it ‘mock-heroic’, a term also applied to a poem which mocks romances rather than epic.
- Chaucer’s ‘Nun’s Priests Tall’ is partly mock-heroic in characters as his Spenser’s the Fate of the Butterfly’, which imitates the opening of ‘The Adenoid’ and employs the elevates style for subject matter.
- Noted mock epics include The Rape of the Lock (1712) by the English poet Alexander Pope. Several novels also fall into this category, including Joseph Andrews (1742), described by its author, the English novelist Henry Fielding, as “a comic epic ... in prose.”
- Swift’s Battle of the Books is an example of a cuttingly satirical mock epic in prose. Pope’s ‘The Rape of the Lock’s the finest mock heroic poem in English. It satirizes the trivialities of the Elite society in the 18th century.
- ‘The Rape of the Lock’ is one of the permanent achievements of English poetry in the tradition of the mock epic. Read More about A to Z (Objective Questions)
- The recent example of a cyclic mock epic is Ted Hughes’s ‘Crow’ (1970) a mock epic of short and completes utterances.
- "It is a pretty poem, Mr Pope, but you must not call it
Homer."Richard Bentley (1662 - 1742)