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Comparison of Odyssey, Divine Comedy, and Paradise Lost Essay examples

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A Comparison of Odyssey, Divine Comedy, and Paradise Lost

 
   Epics by definition are long narrative poems, that are grand in both theme

and style (Webster 417).  They usually involve actions of great glory and are

typically centered around historical or legendary events of universal

significance.  Most epics deal with the deeds of a single individual, however,

it is not uncommon to have more than one main character.  Epics embody several

main features including: supernatural forces, sometimes the deity of the time,

that shape the action; battles or other forms of physical combat; and a formal

statement of the theme of the epic.  Everyday details of life are commonplace

and intricately woven into the background of each story in the same palatial

style as the rest of the poem.

 

     Epic poems are not merely entertaining stories of legendary or historical

heroes; they summarize and express the nature or ideals of an entire nation at a

significant or crucial point in its history.  I have chosen for comparison the

Odyssey, The Divine Comedy, and Paradise Lost.

 

      The Odyssey, attributed to Homer is about Odysseus, the king of Ithaca,

who sailed with his army to take part in war against Troy.  After ten years of

war, victory is declared and the armies of Odysseus have sailed for home.  As

the Odyssey begins, an additional 10 years have passed since the fall of Troy

and Odysseus still has not returned to his home.  The noblemen have converged on

his palace seeking the hand of his lovely wife, Penelope.  However, Penelope

refuses their advances choosing to remain faithful to Odysseus.

 

      During the ten years ...


... middle of paper ...


... of people in our history.  These epic works take

us on an imaginary voyage; one through the amazing journeys of a single man, one

through an imaginary trip through hell in which the political and philosophical

thought of the time can be experienced, and one through an account of a

religious thought for that day.  All of these epics serve to remind us that no

matter how far mankind has come, we still have a long way to go in our journey

be it spiritual or earthly.

 

Works Cited

 

"Epic."  Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary.  1983 ed.

 

Homer.  "The Odyssey."  Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces.  Ed. Maynard

Mack.  6th ed. 2 vols. New York:  Norton, 1992.

 

Milton, John.  "Paradise Lost." Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces.  Ed.

Maynard Mack.  6th ed. 2 vols. New York:  Norton, 1992.


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