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Epics Case

Essay by   •  April 9, 2013  •  Essay  •  394 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,261 Views

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Epics

An epic is a long narrative poem that relates to the great needs of a larger than life hero who embodies the values of and particular society. These features are superior in Beowulf, Iliad, and Gilgamesh. Some characteristics found in all of these epics are the presence of a hero, powerful antagonist, and the desire for glory, which are traits found in all epic.

A common feature found in these three epics is the existence of a hero. Early on in the book Beowulf there was the arrival of Beowulf who became a hero after killing Grendel. Gilgamesh became a hero after striking down Humbaba which is located on page fifty-two. Achilles became the hero after avenging his conrad by destroying Hector which is located on page fifty-five in the Iliad. As demonstrated in these three books the presence of a hero is a necessity for the plot of an epic.

Another trait in these three books was the role of the powerful antagonist. The role of the powerful antagonist in Beowulf was Grendel who terrorized and was truly disaster for the people which is found page twenty-one. Another example of a powerful antagonist can be found on page forty-eight from the story Gilgamesh. This is when Gilgamesh and Enkidu expressed their fear of Humbaba. Lastly the powerful antagonist can be found on page fifty-nine in the Iliad, when Hector terrorized Achilles people and killed his friend Patroclus.

The last chacteristic evident in all three epics was the lust for glory. Beowulf desire for glory was demonstrated when he told us as readers, his reason to defeat Grendel. It was also demonstrated when he decided to fight Grendel with no weapon, in his bare skin. In Gilgamesh on page fifty, he showed his eagerness for glory by continually encouraging Enkidu to join him on a quest into the forest fight. The last citing for this lustful glory was found on page sixty-six, as Achilles road his chariot with Hector dead body on the back.

An epic hero is a brave and noble character in an epic poem, admired for great achievements or affected by grand events. Beowulf's major achievement was his defeat of Grendel. Achilles major achievement was his defeat of Hector. Gilgamesh major achievement was when he defeated Humbaba. Which is all displayed in all three epics Beowulf, Iliad, and Gilgamesh.

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