Q:

What is the definition of an epic hero?

A:

Quick Answer

An epic hero is defined as a character in an epic poem who is noble and brave and is affected by great events or admired for his achievements. Two well-known examples of epic heroes are Aeneas and Odysseus.

Continue Reading
What is the definition of an epic hero?
Credit: OJO Images OJO Images Getty Images

Full Answer

Epic heroes are generally the main characters in epic poems. They also typically represent their culture by embodying the values that their culture admires. For example, Odysseus is the main character in the Greek epic, "Odyssey". Odysseus was a quick thinker and clever, which Greeks at the time greatly admired. Epic heroes may also possess superhuman strength or military skill.

Epic poems are specifically a genre of poetry in the classical world. These poems are generally long, narrative poems that are concerned with a serious subject. They focus on the exploits of the epic hero and are told in elevated style of language. Finally, the success or failure of the epic hero may be responsible for the fate of the hero's people or nation.

Ancient Greek and Roman texts, such as "Odyssey" and the "Aeneid," most accurately represent epic poetry. Many critics apply the term to other works of poetry from other cultures around the world, however. "Beowulf" is often called an Anglo-Saxon epic, and "Paradise Lost" may be considered an epic of Christian culture.

Learn more about Literature

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the definition of a literary text?

    A:

    A literary text is a piece of written material, such as a book or poem, that has the purpose of telling a story or entertaining, as in a fictional novel. Its primary function as a text is usually aesthetic, but it may also contain political messages or beliefs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the definition of character development?

    A:

    The term "character development" can be used in literary contexts to refer to the way in which a written character is described and fleshed out, or it can be used in social contexts to refer to the development of good moral character. People who have good moral character are considered to be good, upright people.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the definition of "tragic hero"?

    A:

    According to the philosopher Aristotle, a tragic hero is a great person who comes to misfortune through a fatal character flaw. Though the tragic hero must be a decent person, he must not be the epitome of virtue.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the five characteristics of an epic?

    A:

    The five characteristics of an epic are the inclusion of: supernatural forces interacting with humans; acts of courage or valor; characters who have some type of national importance; a tone and voice that make everything sound important, even if it's not; and a setting that is regional, national or global in nature. An example of an epic would be the "Iliad," the "Odyssey," the "Aeneid" and "Paradise Lost."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore