The Epic - Sanderson High School

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Science, Astronomy
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(Everything you wanted to know about epic poetry but were afraid to ask!)

The Epic  A long, narrative poem told in an exalted

style (grand manner) that tells of the exploits and adventures of a hero  Oral Tradition – the way a culture passed on its history, legends, myths, and stories from one generation to the next – essential means of archiving history before printing and mass media – often includes rhythm, rhyme, and repetition

The Epic  Significant to a particular race or culture--

part of a given culture’s history and mythology  Often based in literal truth  Reveal that culture’s value and belief systems and character  Certain elements may be universal, transcending cultural, geographical, and historical boundaries

Beowulf as Epic: Anglo-Saxon Scops  Professional tribal poets  Celebrated cultural values by singing epics on

occasions of great ceremony and festivity  Presented the stories, legends, myths, values, belief systems, and histories of the AngloSaxon culture  Passed them down from one generation to the next

Beowulf as Epic: Scops  Fulfilled many roles in an Anglo Saxon tribe: • • • • • • • •

court singer tribal historian genealogist teacher composer critic warrior traveler and reporter

Beowulf as Epic  Cultural values embodied in Beowulf:

– Loyalty – Valor (courage, bravery) – Selflessness (willingness to sacrifice self for the good of the people) – Justice

Beowulf as Epic  Prevailing philosophies & religious beliefs

evident in Beowulf: – Uneasy mix of Christian and pagan elements (images, symbols, beliefs) – Incl. fatalism: a belief that humans are not in control of their own destinies; Fate is.

Archetypes  Universal symbols that transcend boundaries of

culture, time and geography  Part of humanity’s collective unconscious (Carl Jung)  Examples include certain-• Images (sun, water, circle, tree, serpent, garden, desert) • Colors (red, green, blue, white, black) • Numbers (3, 4, 7) • Character types (The Good Mother, The Wise Old Man, The Hero)

Archetypes--Sun  Sun (fire and sky)

– – – –

creative energy consciousness father principle passage of time and life

 Rising sun

– birth; creation; enlightenment  Setting sun

– death

Archetypes--Water  Mysteries of creation  Birth-death-resurrection cycles  Purification and redemption  Sea

– mother of all life – timelessness and eternity  River

– death and rebirth (baptism) – transitional phases of the life cycle

Archetypes--Colors  Red: blood, sacrifice, violent passion; disorder  Green: (Positive) growth; hope; fertility;

(Negative) death and decay  Blue: highly positive, associated with truth, religious feeling, security, spiritual purity  Black: (darkness) chaos, mystery, the unknown; death; the unconscious  White: (Positive) light, purity, innocence; timelessness; (Negative) death, terror, emptiness, blinding truth of mystery

Archetypes--Circle  Circle (Sphere): wholeness, unity  Egg (oval): the mystery of life and forces of

generation  Wheel--symbol of fortune, fate  Yang-Yin: a Chinese symbol; represents the union of opposite forces--(Jungian theory of anima and animus)

– Yang: masculine principle; light; activity; the conscious mind – Yin: female principle; darkness; passivity; the unconscious

More Archetypal Images  Serpent

• The Garden

 Evil

• Paradise

 Corruption  Sensuality

• Innocence

 Destruction

• Unspoiled beauty

 The unconscious

• Fertility

More Archetypal Images  Desert  Spiritual aridity (dryness)

 Emptiness  Hopelessness (Wasteland)  Tree  Life; consistence and growth  Proliferation  Immortality; generation and regeneration

Archetypes--Numbers  Three (3)  Spiritual awareness and unity – Example: the Holy Trinity  Male principle

 Four (4)  Associated with circle and earth (four corners)  Life cycle (four seasons)

 Female principle

 Seven (7): Most potent of all symbolic numbers  Union of 3 & 4  Completion of a cycle; perfect order

Archetypes--Character Types  The Good Mother (positive qualities of E.M.)  associated with life principle  represents birth, warmth, nourishment  represents protection and abundance  Examples: – – – – – –

Mother Nature--the earth mother Demeter/Ceres Marmie March (from Little Women) Captain Planet--Gaia Cinderella--Fairy godmother Star Wars--Anakin Skywalker’s mother(?)

Archetypes--Character Types  The Terrible Mother (negative qualities of E.M.)  femme fatale  witch, sorceress, siren, whore, seductress  associated with fear, sensuality, danger, darkness,

emasculation, death  Examples: Delilah – – – –

Cinderella--evil stepmother Hera any soap opera The Little Mermaid--Ursula

Archetypes--Character Types  The Soul Mate  Sophia figure--associated with spiritual wisdom  Holy mother  Princess or “beautiful lady”  Incarnation of inspiration and spiritual fulfillment  Jungian anima (completion)  Examples: – Wizard of Oz--Glenda the Good Witch – Star Wars--Princess Leia – Blue woman (Diva) in The Fifth Element

Archetypes--Character Types  The Wise Old Man  savior, redeemer, guru figure  personification of the spiritual principle  represents knowledge, reflection, insight, wisdom,

cleverness and intuition  also represents moral qualities such as goodwill, readiness to help  the sagacious and helpful old man  Examples: Obiwan Kenobi, Yoda, Merlin, Gandolf, Mr. Miyagi, Splinter, Rafiki, Teiresius

Archetypes--Character Types  The Hero Archetypes (archetypes of transformation and redemption)  Hero’s Initiation (from ignorance and immaturity to social and spiritual adulthood) – Separation – Transformation – Return  Examples: Huck Finn, The Lion King, Luke Skywalker, Ebeneezer Scrooge, Overboard, The Prodigal Son

Archetypes--Character Types  The Sacrificial Scapegoat  the hero with whom the welfare of the tribe or

nation is identified  must die to atone for the people’s sins and to restore the land to fruitfulness  Examples: Braveheart--William Wallace, Jesus, Maximus of Gladiator, Somersby, Bruce Willis’ character in Armageddon

The Hero Archetype  The Hero’s Quest – Undertakes a long journey – Must perform impossible tasks and overcome insurmountable obstacles – Has an important goal to achieve – Is often a savior, deliverer figure

Other Archetypal Motifs  Creation  Immortality

 Battle of Good v. Evil

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