The term epic, from Latin epĭcus, refers to that belonging to or relating to the epic or heroic poetry. This poetic genre presents legendary or fictional events that take place in a weather Y space determined.
This means that the epic can be based on true or invented facts. The epic poets narration (in the past tense) and description alternate. The texts can be developed in prose or long verse, with the narrator present or absent.
Among the many authors who have served as writers of the epic genre we could highlight, without a doubt, the Greek Homer. And it is that he himself is considered as the father of that in the West since he was the first to create works framed under that name.
Of all his works we could highlight two that have become authentic examples of the epic and that have become references within universal literature.
One of them is “Iliad”, which is based on the famous Trojan War. The oldest poem in Western literature is this one that is composed of more than 15,000 verses, dating from the 8th century BC and that tells us, as we have mentioned previously, the course of the aforementioned war conflict that had as its starting point the flight or kidnapping of Helen of Sparta in which Prince Paris of Troy played a key role.
The second important work of Homer within the epic genre is “The Odyssey”, created between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. In it we are told of the return of the hero Odysseus to his land, to Ithaca.
The epic genre usually presents an important extension since it includes elements of other genres (such as the drama wave lyric). For this reason it presents divisions into chapters or the like.
There are several subgenres within the epic. The epics they present the exploits of an archetypal hero who represents the collective values of a nation. The sing of deed (with fewer fantastic elements than the epic), the sagas, the picaresque novels, the chivalric books, the myth, the traditional tale, the balads and the legends they can also include elements of the epic.
The epic hero He is usually a warrior character who manages to overcome all kinds of obstacles to achieve his goals. His characterization makes him a being of great physical strength, intelligent and noble.
The main characteristics of epic poetry have transcended the literary field. In everyday language, epic is known as that which is difficult to resolve. For example: “In an epic encounter, the Argentine team managed to overcome three goals behind and ended up winning the match on the hour”.
However, we cannot forget either the existence of what is known as epic theater. Under this name is found that kind of theater that, at all times, what it seeks is that the viewer not only come to clearly identify with the emotions that shape the work but also reflect on the different questions that arise in the same.