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Epic   Listen
adjective
Epic  adj.  Narrated in a grand style; pertaining to or designating a kind of narrative poem, usually called an heroic poem, in which real or fictitious events, usually the achievements of some hero, are narrated in an elevated style. "The epic poem treats of one great, complex action, in a grand style and with fullness of detail."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Epic" Quotes from Famous Books



... write the epic of the Devil's Antechamber; I abode there but ten days, as we reckon time. On a cool and clear Easter Sunday morning the summons came to go forth to further adventures. Accompanied by three deputies, but free of the Henkel handcuffs, we passed the gates and trod the sunny pavements. ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... authoress replies: 'I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not seriously sit down to write a romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up, and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be ...
— A Book of Sibyls - Miss Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs Opie, Miss Austen • Anne Thackeray (Mrs. Richmond Ritchie)

... epic business into which to plunge a boy of eighteen whose hot blood tingled with electric fire at sight of a weapon in the hands of roused and resolute men. He redoubled his revolver practice, and through Daniel's gossip and especially through the boasting of Jennie, his skill with the revolver soon ...
— The Eagle's Heart • Hamlin Garland

... maid, whom you seek to protect, holding back that bunch of desperadoes, it occurs to me that she can give a fairly good account of herself. Gad, it was epic!" ...
— A Pagan of the Hills • Charles Neville Buck

... forming a model state and of laying out for posterity a straight and solid path in which it might walk with due rectitude. All this was in itself an ample enough subject to occupy their powerful imaginations. They were enacting a kind of sacred epic, the dangers and the dignity and exaltation of which they felt most fervently. The Bible, the Bay Psalm Book, Bunyan, and Milton, the poems of George Wither, Baxter's Saint's Rest, and some controversial pamphlets, would suffice to appease whatever yearnings ...
— A Study Of Hawthorne • George Parsons Lathrop

... lamentable tales of the round (dining-room) table heroes; of the epic of the pewter platoons, and the romance-cycle of "Gaston Le Fox," which we invented, maintained, and found marvellous at a time ...
— The Pit • Frank Norris

... first the enemies had been saloon-keepers, and wicked men who tempted him to drink with them. The names of these men were household words to him, portents of terror; they peopled his imagination as epic figures, such as Black Douglas must have been to the children of the ...
— Love's Pilgrimage • Upton Sinclair

... Whatever may be the private taste of a stranger, his slight and superficial knowledge should humbly acquiesce in the judgment of a learned nation; yet I may hope or presume, that the Italians do not compare the tedious uniformity of sonnets and elegies with the sublime compositions of their epic muse, the original wildness of Dante, the regular beauties of Tasso, and the boundless variety of the incomparable Ariosto. The merits of the lover I am still less qualified to appreciate: nor am I deeply interested ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6 • Edward Gibbon

... did over and over again, with unflagging vehemence, with splendid variations, in stories of peasants and wrestlers and thieves and prostitutes. They are all, as his daughter says, epic; she calls them Homeric, but there is none of the Homeric simplicity in this tumult of coloured and clotted speech, in which the language is tortured to make it speak. The comparison with Rabelais is nearer. La recherche du terme vivant, sa mise en ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... winter. Through it flowed the rippling silver of Pipe Creek on its sparkling way to the sea. At the foot of a grassy slope a spring offered draughts of the clear pure water which is said to be the only drink for one who would write epics or live an epic. Beyond a wide expanse of wind-blown grass the young eyes saw the variant gray and purple tints of the Catoctin Mountains, showing mystic changes in the floodtide of day or losing themselves in the crimson ...
— Literary Hearthstones of Dixie • La Salle Corbell Pickett

... to the Beast Epic, where the cunning fox laughs at the flayed condition of his stupid foes, the wolf and bear. We should say, "Don't stop to speak with him, but rather beat ...
— The story of Burnt Njal - From the Icelandic of the Njals Saga • Anonymous

... gratified by it, and an air of benign severity shone from his eyes. His friends had flocked in, and he had already begun to tell again at full length the story of the Lieutenant-Governor's visit with still further adornments of a most fantastic kind. The interview was already becoming an epic, both ...
— The Hungry Stones And Other Stories • Rabindranath Tagore

... youths are like Pope's women; they have no character Occasional instalments—just to freshen the account Oh! I can't bear that class of people Partake of a morning draught Patronizing woman Propitiate common sense on behalf of what seems tolerably absurd Rare as epic song is the man who is thorough in what he does Requiring natural services from her in the button department Said she was what she would have given her hand not to be She was at liberty to weep if she pleased She, not disinclined to dilute her grief Speech that has to be hauled from ...
— Quotations from the Works of George Meredith • David Widger

... story, and some pretty good comedy. It is the first realistic South Sea story; I mean with real South Sea character and details of life. Everybody else who has tried, that I have seen, got carried away by the romance, and ended in a kind of sugar-candy sham epic, and the whole effect was lost - there was no etching, no human grin, consequently no conviction. Now I have got the smell and look of the thing a good deal. You will know more about the South Seas after you have read my little tale than if you had read a library. As to whether any one ...
— Vailima Letters • Robert Louis Stevenson

... employment of ingenuity and taste, though it also requires inventive power. Secondly, "imagination" implies a longer flight; "fancy," rather a succession of short efforts: the one is a steady blaze; the other, a series of sparkles. An epic poem would require an exercise of the first; a ballad, or other lighter production, of the last: hence, we may see that the difference between the two is, in some measure, one of subject-matter; for the same power which we call "fancy" when employed ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 427 - Volume 17, New Series, March 6, 1852 • Various

... Valiant-for-truth; so Poetry has inspired children, and seeming fools, and maniacs, and mendicants with the finest breath of her spirit. The 'Fable-tree' Fontaine is as immortal as Corneille; Christopher Smart's 'David' shall live as long as Milton's 'Paradise Lost;' and the rude epic of a blind wanderer, whose birth, parentage, and period of death are all alike unknown, shall continue to rank in interest with the productions of one who inherited that kingdom of Scotland, the independence of which was ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... should yield the leadership to Syracusans, we who boast of a race which is the most ancient of all and who are of all the Hellenes the only people who have not changed from one land to another; to whom also belonged a man whom Homer the Epic poet said was the best of all who came to Ilion in drawing up an army and setting it in array. 151 Thus we are not justly to be reproached if we say ...
— The History Of Herodotus - Volume 2 (of 2) • Herodotus

... epic of our times is not "arms and the man," but "tools and the man," an infinitely wider kind ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... and gives unity to variety; it sees all things in one.... There is the epic imagination, the perfection of which is in Milton; and the dramatic, of which Shakspeare is ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... present abode I knew, perhaps, as much as the public at large know about the Coppermine river and Behring's straits. The world, it was true, was before me, "where top choose," admirable things for an epic, but decidedly an unfortunate circumstance for a very cold gentleman in search of a blanket. Thus thinking, I opened the door of my chamber, and not in any way resolved how I should proceed, I stepped forth into the long corridor, which ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete • Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

... ITALY.—In Italy, among many authors in different departments of poetry, Tasso (1544-1595), the author of the epic Jerusalem Delivered, is the most eminent. In it, the classic and the romantic styles are combined; the spirit of the Middle Ages blends with the unity and harmony of Homer and Virgil. In the seventeenth century, ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... patriotism or sectarianism, reigns in it. A noble Book; all men's Book! It is our first, oldest statement of the never-ending Problem,—man's destiny, and God's ways with him here in this earth. And all in such free flowing outlines; grand in its sincerity, in its simplicity; in its epic melody, and repose of reconcilement. There is the seeing eye, the mildly understanding heart. So true everyway; true eyesight and vision for all things; material things no less than spiritual: the Horse—"hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?"—he "laughs at the shaking of the spear!" ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... life in New England, especially New England of the olden time, has been an epic poem. It was a struggle against obstacles and enemies, and a triumph over nature in behalf ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... of this amazing horse and predatory cow. Somewhere near the middle of the epic little Royal Beaudry usually dropped asleep. The rhythmic tale always comforted him. These nameless animals were very real friends of his. They had been companions of his tenderest years. He loved them with a devotion from which no fairy tale ...
— The Sheriff's Son • William MacLeod Raine

... always from original sources, has taken the L.L. text of the tale as the basis of her narrative, but much material has been worked into its texture, not only from the L.U. version of the Tain and fragments of other versions, but from very many other Irish epic sources. Some of the material so used has not yet been edited. The object always has been to bring out the great human interests of the story in their own ...
— Ireland and the Home Rule Movement • Michael F. J. McDonnell

... his "Die Zigeuner in Europa und Asien," speaks of the Gipsies or Lury as follows:—"In the great Persian epic, the 'Shah-Nameh'—in 'Book of Kings,' Firdusi—relates an historical tradition to the following effect. About the year 420 A.D., Behram Gur, a wise and beneficent ruler of the Sassanian dynasty, finding that his poorer subjects languished ...
— Gipsy Life - being an account of our Gipsies and their children • George Smith

... authors in Holland, Poland, and other countries, including W. Benjamin Smith, the American author of The Pre-christian Jesus (1906), and P. Jensen in Das Gilgamesch Epos in den Welt-literatur (1906), who makes the Jesus-story a variant of the Babylonian epic, 2000 B.C. A pretty strong list! (2) "But," continues Drews, "ordinary historians still ignore all this." Finally, he dismisses Jesus as "a figure swimming obscurely in the mists of tradition." Nevertheless I need hardly remark that, large and learned as the body of opinion ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... despair seems to cure the poet rather than drown his faith in hopelessness. As a critic, he encourages every initiate of the cause. As a "soldier of the verse," he himself fights his battles of song in every field. In short story, in drama, in epic poetry, and above all in lyrics, he creates work after work. From the Songs of my Country, the Hymn to Athena, the Eyes of my Soul and the Iambs and Anapaests, he rises gradually and steadily to the tragic drama of the Thrice Noble-One, to the epic of The ...
— Life Immovable - First Part • Kostes Palamas

... Increase of British responsibilities, and of the air force. The temper of the air force. The Epic ...
— The War in the Air; Vol. 1 - The Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force • Walter Raleigh

... Vol. II, The Constitution; Vol. III., The Guillotine." The publication of this book produced a profound impression on the public mind. A history abounding in vivid and graphic descriptions, it was at the same time a gorgeous "prose epic." It is perhaps the most readable of all Carlyle's works, and indeed is one of the most remarkable books of the age. There is no other account of the French Revolution that can be compared with it for intensity of feeling and profoundness ...
— On the Choice of Books • Thomas Carlyle

... minstrelsy admit of simple classification. The Duan Mor is the epic song; its subdivisions are termed duana or duanaga. Strings of verse and incidents ([Greek: Rhapsodia]) were intended to form an epic history, and were combined by successive bards for that purpose. The battle-song (Prosnuchadh-catha) ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume II. - The Songs of Scotland of the past half century • Various

... Jeffrey is apt to fail; though he affects to be a dictator, he is really a follower of the fashion. He could put up with Rogers's flattest 'correctness,' Moore's most intolerable tinsel, and even Southey's most ponderous epic poetry, because admiration was respectable. He could endorse, though rather coldly, the general verdict in Scott's favour, only guarding his dignity by some not too judicious criticism; preferring, for example, the sham romantic business ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... Strasburg they found as to Lessing. The repertoire of the Weimar theater was stocked with pieces of solid merit, which long held their place. In August, 1792, he accompanied the duke to the campaign in the Ardennes. In 1793 he went with his master to the siege of Mainz. Goethe took the old German epic of Reynard the Fox, with which he had long been familiar, and which, under the guise of animals, represents the conflicting passions of men, and ...
— Autobiography • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... in to the Duchesse de Guiche's box, was enthusiastic in his praises of Mademoiselle Taglioni, and said hers was the most poetical style of dancing he had ever seen. Another observed, that it was indeed the poetry of motion. I would describe it as being the epic of dancing. ...
— The Idler in France • Marguerite Gardiner

... expression of personal emotion, but then so is all poetry, and to suppose that there are several kinds of poetry, differing from each other in essence, is to be deceived by wholly artificial divisions which have no real being. To talk of dramatic poetry, epic poetry and narrative poetry is to talk of three different things—epic, drama and narrative; but each is combined with a fourth thing in common, which is poetry, which, in turn, is in itself of precisely the same nature as the lyric of which we are told ...
— The Lyric - An Essay • John Drinkwater

... design with bosses of lapis lazuli at the four corners; and only gave it up for a life-size recumbent figure in alabaster with four gryphons supporting the sarcophagus. As the soles of his boots thickened with prosperity, so did his stone grow in solidity. Finally an epic of his—Adrastus—took the town by storm, and three editions were exhausted in a single week. When this happened, he sat down with a gigantic sheet of cartridge paper before him and spent a whole year in setting out the elaborated design. By his will he left ...
— The Delectable Duchy • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... take from the Bhagavad Gita, that glorious episode in the mighty civil war which shattered India, and left her defenceless against the successive invaders who were to complete her fall. This great epic poem introduces to us Arjuna, a noble prince, about to take part in the strife. The two armies, arrayed for battle, are on the point of engaging, arrows have already begun to pierce the air. In the opposing ranks Arjuna sees ...
— Reincarnation - A Study in Human Evolution • Th. Pascal

... fashionable novel, (diamond edition,) from the accomplished pencil of H.B." Kenny Meadows will become the Byron of the day, Leech the Scott, Forrester the Marryatt, Phiz the Trollope; Stanfield and Turner will be epic poets, Landseer preside over the belles-lettres, and Webster and Stone become the epigrammatists and madrigalists of ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... episode of the ingenuous troutling which, having apparently conceived a violent passion for the Colonel, literally forced itself upon the hook seven times within a short afternoon. Captains on the Sultanitza Planina rehearse the epic incidents of how the Colonel snatched victory from defeat after pursuing for three miles an infuriated pike which had wrenched the very rod from his grasp. Subalterns in the chill wilds of Cologne, adding picturesque ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Feb. 19, 1919 • Various

... him, smiling, "between your cooking and Susan Jenks' is the difference between an epic—and a nursery rhyme. They're both good, ...
— Contrary Mary • Temple Bailey

... himself has left out the people as effectually as any of the historians who went before him. The obsession of "the governing class" has thrust the people into the background. History resolves itself with him into a disgraceful epic of a governing class which despoiled Pope and King with the right hand, and the people with the left. It is a disgraceful epic patched with splendid episodes, but it culminates in an appalling cry ...
— Old and New Masters • Robert Lynd

... mammoth-poem lies, 15 Fouled to death by butterflies." His own fault, the simpleton! Instead of cramp couplets, each like a knife in your entrails, he should write, says Bluphocks, both classically and intelligibly.—AEsculapius, an Epic. Catalogue of the drugs: Hebe's plaister—One strip Cools 20 your lip. Phoebus's emulsion—One bottle Clears your throttle. Mercury's ...
— Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning • Robert Browning

... his genius? Where did Mozart get his music? Whose hand smote the lyre of the Scottish plowman? and stayed the life of the German priest? God alone; and, so surely as these were raised up by God, inspired by God was Abraham Lincoln, and, a thousand years hence, no story, no tragedy, no epic poem will be filled with greater wonder than that which tells of his life and death. If Lincoln was not inspired of God, then were not Luther, or Shakespeare, or Burns. If Lincoln was not inspired by God, then there is ...
— Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday • Various

... simple than Tasso, more nervous than Lucretius, had he lived in a later age, and learned to polish some rudeness in his verses; had he enjoyed better fortune, and possessed leisure to watch the returns of genius in himself; he had attained the pinnacle of perfection, and borne away the palm of epic poetry. ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. - From Charles I. to Cromwell • David Hume

... work as thoroughly with his sword as afterwards with his pen, Don Carlos Coloma, captain of cavalry, afterwards financier, envoy, and historian. For it was thus that those writers prepared themselves for their work. They were all actors in the great epic, the episodes of which they have preserved. They lived and fought, and wrought and suffered and wrote. Rude in tongue; aflame with passion, twisted all awry by prejudice, violent in love and hate, they have left us narratives which are at least full of colour ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... The somewhat obscure Finn episode in Beowulf appears to be part of a Finn epic, of which only the merest fragment, called the Fight at Finnsburg, is extant. The following conjectured outline of the whole story is based on this fragment and on the Beowulf episode; Finn, king of the Frisians, had ...
— The Tale of Beowulf - Sometime King of the Folk of the Weder Geats • Anonymous

... of the exploits of Myles Standish throws a clearer light upon a heroic figure in our earliest history, and it has an epic quality which will appeal to old and young. While the facts of history are presented, the author has adroitly reconstructed the little-known earlier years of Standish's life, basing his imaginative work upon the probabilities ...
— In The Boyhood of Lincoln - A Tale of the Tunker Schoolmaster and the Times of Black Hawk • Hezekiah Butterworth

... of thing is not allowed in comic poetry. When I opened my well-known military epic, "Riddles of ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, June 9, 1920 • Various

... verse meandering, Bob went without a hitch or fall, Through Epic, Sapphic, Alexandrine, To verse that ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... "Reynard the Fox" occur in folk-tales throughout Europe, and it has often been discussed whether the folk-tales were the foundation of the beast epic or vice versa. Since, however, it has been proven that many other incidents besides those used in the beast satire are found among the folk, it is generally allowed nowadays that, apart from a few AEsopic ...
— Europa's Fairy Book • Joseph Jacobs

... but it was I who changed them! The shock of poverty was terrible at first, not because I set too much value on money, nor because I was unwilling to work, but because I felt I had no power of attack. My nature was introspective, I lived in an epic of my own creation. My strength and my courage were wrapped up in dreams, and seemed to have no relation to the practical world. I could have faced the devil himself for an ideal, but to make my own ...
— Read-Aloud Plays • Horace Holley

... of civilization, and soon erected cities. Indraprastha, built near the site of the present city of Delhi, and Hastinapore, some thirty miles from it, figure largely in the Mahabharut, the giant Hindu epic. Kunauj, lying east and south of Delhi, became some time afterwards the capital of a widely extended empire, which lasted, with vicissitudes, down to Muhammadan times. Benares is seen in the dim light of antiquity as a ...
— Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon, 1839-1877 • James Kennedy

... from that speciment that our schoolmaster ain't simply flirtin' with the muses when he originates that epic; no sir, he means business; an' whenever I throws it into the selectmen, I does it jestice. The trustees used to silently line out for home when I finishes, an' never a yeep. It stuns 'em; it shore fills 'em ...
— Wolfville Nights • Alfred Lewis

... estimation. Weber himself, however, was by no means a man to disregard the tenor of the words and characters he was to associate with his music, and was greatly charmed with his English coadjutor's operatic version of Wieland's fairy epic. He was invited to come over to London and himself superintend the production ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... that the plot of this epic was not sufficiently inevitable. It hadn't, she lamented, a quite logical ending; and the plot of it, in fine, was ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... to send you some verse. I accordingly send you a scrap of recent manufacture, and you will observe that instead of forwarding my epic on Sevastopol, I select something that is fitter for these present vernal love days than ...
— Yesterdays with Authors • James T. Fields

... teeth of Time, So "Bonnie Doon" but tarry; Blot out the Epic's stately rhyme, But spare his ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... and Hecla, I feel an impulse to fumigate, at [now] 25, College-Street, one pair of stairs room; yea, with our Oronoko, and if thou wilt send me by the bearer, four pipes, I will write a panegyrical epic poem upon thee, with as many books as there are letters in thy name. Moreover, if thou wilt send me "the copy book" I hereby bind myself, by to-morrow morning, to write out enough copy for a ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... I could, my worthy sire! but skill And vigour lack, how great soe'er the will. Not every one can paint in epic strain The lances bristling on the embattled plain, Tell how the Gauls by broken javelins bleed, Or sing the Parthian tumbling ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... Nome was more than a thing of wood and steel. It was a living, pulsating being, throbbing with the very heart-beat of Alaska. The purr of the mighty engines was a human intelligence crooning a song of joy. For him the crowded passenger list held a significance that was almost epic, and its names represented more than mere men and women. They were the vital fiber of the land he loved, its heart's blood, its very element—"giving in." He knew that with the throb of those engines romance, adventure, tragedy, and hope ...
— The Alaskan • James Oliver Curwood

... children of our valley inhaled with every breath this mingled air of romance and sorrow, history and song, and through those epic days runs a deep-laid consciousness of maternal pain. My mother's side of those long months of waiting was never fully delineated, for she was natively reticent and shy of expression. But piece by piece in later years I drew from her the tale of her long vigil, and obtained ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... Drury Lane, and he wrote a number of plays, the very names of which are now forgotten. Few men indeed so well known in his own day have sunk into such insignificance in ours. He wrote eight books of a long and unfinished epic called Gideon, which I suppose no one in the present century has had the hardihood to read; like Young he wrote a poem on The Judgment Day, a theme attempted also, shortly before his death, by John Philips, and that, after his kind, he produced a Pindaric ode goes ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... attention to Trimalchion's feast. As to verses, they have disgusted me, since Nero is writing an epic. Vitelius, when he wishes to relieve himself, uses ivory fingers to thrust down his throat; others serve themselves with flamingo feathers steeped in olive oil or in a decoction of wild thyme. I read Nero's poetry, and the result is immediate. Straightway I am able to praise it, if ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... future generation may follow the example of the Homeric syndicate and select the Siege of Ladysmith as the theme of a great Epic, romantically but unhistorically interwoven with the legend of Juana Maria of Badajoz. On the Boer side the struggle was carried on with much of the simplicity of Homeric times and the Siege of Troy. The debates in the war councils; the doubts of the subordinate commanders; the devices and ...
— A Handbook of the Boer War • Gale and Polden, Limited

... I should go to London oftener,' said Picotee, to turn the conversation. 'But she lives mostly in the library. And, O, what do you think? She is writing an epic poem, and ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... upon which Romulus founded the city was the 30th of the month. The Greeks likewise tell us that on that day an eclipse of the sun took place, which they think was that observed by Antimachus of Teos, the epic poet, which occurred in the third year of the sixth Olympiad. In the time of Varro the philosopher, who of all the Romans was most deeply versed in Roman history, there was one Taroutius, a companion of his, a philosopher and mathematician, who had especially devoted himself ...
— Plutarch's Lives, Volume I (of 4) • Plutarch

... affirmative; that the great age and universal diffusion of the ballad may be proved; and that its birth, from the lips and heart of the people, may be contrasted with the origin of an artistic poetry in the demand of an aristocracy for a separate epic literature destined to be its own possession, and to be the first development of a poetry of personality,—a record of individual passions and emotions. After bringing forward examples of the identity of features in European ballad poetry, we shall proceed to show that the earlier genre ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... Mrs. McCarter's pen is pronounced by critics the best work she has ever done. It is a tale of the soil, of winning the land from wilderness to fruitfulness. The author has written into it a great human story, an epic of the prairies. It is aptly called "The Sunflower Book," for this flower figures in the glowing romance running through its pages—the golden flower that Kansas chose as its emblem because its face is ever turned toward ...
— Winning the Wilderness • Margaret Hill McCarter

... to the history of India, published by Mr Wheeler,(15) gives a complete insight into this interesting topic; and this passage of the ancient Sanskrit epic forms one of the most wonderful and thrilling scenes in that most ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume I (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... reads, as one watches for the new entry of a great fugue-subject, will never fail to see in the Aeneid one of the noblest efforts of human art—to understand what makes it the world's second great epic. ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... quantities of wild creatures—quail, rabbits, doves, and ground squirrels and, unfortunately, a number of social outcasts. Never shall I forget an epic incident in our history—the head of the family in pajamas at dawn, in mortal combat with a small black-and-white creature, chasing it through the cloisters with the garden hose. Oh, yes, there is plenty of adventure still left, even though we don't have to cross the prairies ...
— The Smiling Hill-Top - And Other California Sketches • Julia M. Sloane

... heard of the prowess of the Lord of Aquila? Your knightly deeds in the wars 'twixt Pisa and Florence, your feats of arms and generalship in the service of the Venetians, are matters for the making of epic song." ...
— Love-at-Arms • Raphael Sabatini

... characters and in the sentiments, not in the circumstances or situation. Portia is dignified, splendid, and romantic; Rosalind is playful, pastoral, and picturesque: both are in the highest degree poetical, but the one is epic and ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... morning, and it would seem also that they thought that the waters mentioned in the story signified the rain. But why do they speak of these acts as heroic deeds, exploits of a mighty warrior, in the same tone and with the same epic fire as when they sing of Indra's battles in times near to their own, real battles in which their own forefathers, strong in their faith in the god, shattered the armies of hostile Aryan tribes or the fortresses ...
— Hindu Gods And Heroes - Studies in the History of the Religion of India • Lionel D. Barnett

... national unity, and become the favourite theme for conversation, for pleasantries, for anecdotes which can be embroidered as the narrator pleases; it would have provided a nucleus, ready-made, for a legendary cycle, if any of us had had the epic mind. At daybreak, before we were dressed, without rhyme or reason, save for the pleasure of proving the strength of our solidarity, we would call to one another good-humoredly, cordially, patriotically, "Hurry up; there's no time to be lost; don't forget, ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... impossible it is to know the past. The past survives in human institutions, in the temperament of races, and in the creations of ideal art; but only in the last is it immortal. Custom and law are for an age: race after race is pushed to the sea, and dies; only epic and saga and psalm have one date with man, one destiny with the breath of his lips, one silence at the last with them. Least of all does the past survive in the living memories of men. Here and ...
— Heart of Man • George Edward Woodberry

... in these tales, reading beneath the terse lines of Haney's slang something epic, detecting a perfect willingness to take any chance. The fact that his bravery led to nothing conventionally noble or moral did not detract from the inherent interest of the tale; on the contrary, the young fellow, being of unusual imaginative reach and freedom, took pleasure in the thought ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... became a sort of comedy-epic in the land of the Czars, the land where each petty town-governor is almost an absolute despot, regulating his persecutions and extortions according to the sage saying of the town-governor in the play, "That's the way God made ...
— The Inspector-General • Nicolay Gogol

... reason. The truce to fanaticism called by Akbar the Great encouraged a poet and reformer named Tulsi Dasa (1532-1623) to point a surer way to salvation. He adored Krishna, the preserving influence incarnate as Rama, and rehandled Valmiki's great epic, the Ramayana, in the faint rays of Christian light which penetrated India during that age of transition. Buddha had proclaimed the brotherhood of man; Tulsi Dasa deduced it from the fatherhood of God. The Preserver, having sojourned among men, can understand their infirmities, ...
— Tales of Bengal • S. B. Banerjea

... Reggio, a lady of the highest rank, who joined a large heart to a firm mind. Attached, through her family, to the religious and monarchical principles of the old regime, by her marriage to the glories of the imperial epic, she represented at the court the ideas of pacification and fusion that inspired the policy of Louis XVIII. Born in 1791, of Antoine de Coucy, captain in the regiment of Artois, and of Gabrielle de Mersuay, she was but two years old when her father and mother were thrown ...
— The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... spheres of German society is therefore not dramatic, but epic. Each of them begins to be self-conscious and to press its special claims upon the others not when it is itself oppressed, but when the conditions of the time, irrespective of its co-operation, create a sociable ...
— Selected Essays • Karl Marx

... one now remains, he worked and he saved. He bought a lot and built a house to rent; then he built another house; then he bought the land where his shop stands and rebuilt the shop itself. It was an epic of homely work. He took part in the work of the church and on election days he changed his coat, and went to the town ...
— Adventures In Friendship • David Grayson

... Sanskrit poem occurs as an episode of the Mahabharata, in the sixth—or "Bhishma"—Parva of the great Hindoo epic. It enjoys immense popularity and authority in India, where it is reckoned as one of the "Five Jewels,"—pancharatnani—of Devanagiri literature. In plain but noble language it unfolds a philosophical system which remains ...
— The Bhagavad-Gita • Sir Edwin Arnold

... is no poem or novel that is worth the Memoirs of Saint Helena, although it is written in ridiculous fashion. What I think of Napoleon, if you wish to know, is that, made for glory, he had the brilliant simplicity of the hero of an epic poem. A hero must ...
— The Red Lily, Complete • Anatole France

... the ideal book-lover: knowing Dante, Boccaccio, and in some degree "Franceys Petrark, the laureat poete," who "enlumined al Itaille of poetry," Virgil, Cicero, Seneca, Ovid—his favourite author—and Boethius; as well as Guido delle Colonne's prose epic of the story of Troy, the poems of Guillaume de Machaut, the Roman de la Rose, and a work on the astrolabe by Messahala.[1] We have some excellent pictures of Chaucer's habit of reading. When his day's work is done he goes home and ...
— Old English Libraries, The Making, Collection, and Use of Books • Ernest A. Savage

... "unintelligible," so freely and recklessly flung about, could with the faintest show of reason be applied by any reasonable being. In the 21,116 lines which form Browning's longest work and masterpiece, the "psychological epic" of The Ring and the Book, I am inclined to think it possible that a careful scrutiny might reveal 116 which an ordinary reader would require to read twice. Anything more clear than the work as a whole it would be difficult to find. It is much easier to follow than Paradise ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... when I see the prairie-floor waving with its harvest to be, and hear the clack and stutter of the tractor breaking sod on the outer quarter and leaving behind it the serried furrows of umber, I feel there is something primal and poetic in the picture, something mysteriously moving and epic.... ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... was a cotemporary of Zonaras. The other is John Tzetzes, who wrote a rambling work consisting of mythological and historical notices in Greek political, civil, or profane verse, as it may be called, (versus politici)—the epic poetry of modern Greece; correctly compared by Lord Byron to the ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847 • Various

... the skater's heel glides over ice, leaving its mark as it goes, yet breaking no crust of frost; and there was the poetic dreamer Dartmore, with his large, dark eyes, and moonlight face, and manner of suffering serenity, on his way to put forth for fame, as he fondly believed, his manuscript epic on the "Sorrows ...
— Sea and Shore - A Sequel to "Miriam's Memoirs" • Mrs. Catharine A. Warfield

... persons. Every one of them, no doubt, was worth studying for a long, long time; and I suppose I may have given, on an average, a minute to each. What an absurdity it would seem, to pretend to read two or three hundred poems, of all degrees between an epic and a ballad, in an hour or two! And a picture is a poem, only requiring the greater study to be felt and comprehended; because the spectator must necessarily do much for himself towards that end. I saw many beautiful things,—among them some ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... castle of sand. And we must confess that the process, such, for instance, as that now going on here—this onset of many peoples, which is transforming the continent of America—is a spectacle to excite the imagination in the highest degree. If there were any poet capable of putting into an epic the spirit of this achievement, what an epic would be his! Can it be that there is anything of more consequence in life than the great business in hand, which absorbs the vitality and genius of this age? Surely, we say, it is better to go by steam than to go afoot, because ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... the persons themselves, speaking and acting upon the stage: in the epic, on the contrary, the poet only relates the different adventures of his characters. It is natural to be delighted with fine descriptions of events, in which illustrious persons and whole nations are interested; and hence the epic poem had its origin. But we are quite differently affected ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... imposing upon Sir Stafford Northcote, Disraeli himself never made any vain pretensions to be devoted to pursuits for which he did not care a rap. He once dreamt of an epic poem, and his early ambition urged him a step or two in that direction, but his critical faculty, which, despite all his monstrosities of taste, was vital, restrained him from making a fool of himself, and he forswore the muse, puffed the prostitute away, and ...
— In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays • Augustine Birrell

... I said, 'this is a wonderful book.' Then I briefly explained what the great epic was, who the Greeks and who the Trojans were, the cause of the war between them, how nations fought in those days, what gods they worshiped, and added, 'Let me read ...
— The Wedge of Gold • C. C. Goodwin

... the Calmuck Tartars; they hold (see Bergmann's 'Streifereien') that their 'Dschangariade' is the finest of all epic poems, past or coming; and, therefore, the Calmuck Lives of the Poets will naturally be inimitable. But confining our view to the unhappy literatures of Europe, ancient or modern, this is what we think of Dr. Johnson's ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... country, and for another and a broader love, growing out of his first passion, fought it; and being small by comparison, and finding no giant of the Philistines disposed to receive a stone in his fore-skull, pummelled the obmutescent mass, to the confusion of a conceivable epic. His indifferent England refused it to him. That is all I can say. The greater power of the two, she seems, with a quiet derision that does not belie her amiable passivity, to have reduced in Beauchamp's career the boldest readiness for public ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... breath of the Atlantic on its beams. The road ran up and down as if our motor were a ship on a deep-sea swell; and such a sense of space and light was in the distances, such a veil of beauty over the whole world, that the vision of that army on the move grew more and more fabulous and epic. ...
— Fighting France - From Dunkerque to Belport • Edith Wharton

... leave him physically prostrate. In Wergeland we see an instance of the poetical temper in its most unbridled form. A glance through the enormous range of his collected works is like an excursion into chaos. We are met almost at the threshold by a colossal epic, Creation, Man and the Messiah (1830); by songs that turn into dithyrambic odes, by descriptive pieces which embrace the universe, by all the froth and roar and turbidity of genius, with none of its purity and calm. The genius is there; it is idle to deny ...
— Henrik Ibsen • Edmund Gosse

... everything, destruction, extermination, rather than pay a penny of French money or yield an inch of French soil! The revolution that since the first reverse had been at work within him, sweeping away the legend of Napoleonic glory, the sentimental Bonapartism that he owed to the epic narratives of his grandfather, was now complete. He had ceased to be a believer in Republicanism, pure and simple, considering the remedy not drastic enough; he had begun to dabble in the theories of the extremists, he was a believer in the necessity of the Terror as the only means of ridding ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... a young man; more than once he and Bob had scandalized Broadway; some of their exploits were epic. ...
— The Auction Block • Rex Beach

... Epic is the ancient kingdom of the Kurus which flourished along the upper course of the Ganges; and the historical fact on which the Epic is based is a great war which took place between the Kurus and a neighbouring tribe, the Panchalas, in the thirteenth ...
— Maha-bharata - The Epic of Ancient India Condensed into English Verse • Anonymous

... flashed for he had witnessed the play between his sister's son and the man in authority. And then began the story, the epic of a bronze patriot which might well itself be wrought into bronze for the generations unborn. The crowd fell strangely silent, and the square-browed judge leaned head on hand and pondered his soul and the soul of his race. Only was heard the deep tones of Imber, rhythmically ...
— The Spinner's Book of Fiction • Various

... as she treats all things, and ne'er retreats From anything, this Epic will contain A wilderness of the most rare conceits, Which you might elsewhere hope to find in vain. 'Tis true there be some bitters with the sweets, Yet mixed so slightly, that you can't complain, But wonder ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... was thrown into prison. He obtained his release through the Tribunes, but was soon compelled to expiate a new offense by exile. He retired to Utica, where he died about B.C. 202. In his exile he wrote, in the Saturnian metre, an epic poem on the First Punic War, in which he introduced the celebrated legends connected with the foundation of Rome. This poem was extensively copied ...
— A Smaller History of Rome • William Smith and Eugene Lawrence

... and short-lived factions. By an unhappy fatality, due partly to anti-democratic prejudice, and partly to men's unfailing passion for melodrama, the Reign of Terror has been popularly taken for the central and most important part of the revolutionary epic. This is nearly as absurd as it would be to make Gustave Flourens' manifestation of the Fifth of October, or the rising of the Thirty-first of October, the most prominent features in a history of the war ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... is now the universal language; for it has taken away all prepositions, saving a few, nor does it use any articles, but its nouns are (as it were) without skirts and borders. Nor is it any wonder, since Homer, who in fineness of epic surpasses all men, has put articles only to a few nouns, like handles to cans, or crests to helmets. Therefore these verses are remarkable wherein the ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... led forth his forty-four men and marched, amid new ovations, all through Stamboul, across the great bridge to Galata, to the deck of the steamship General, at the head of his little band, now grown epic, amid the cheers of Byzantium, on which he and his officers had never set foot before—always in the clear blue and sunlight ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... wonderful expedition of Odin, which, by deducting the enmity of the Goths and Romans from so memorable a cause, might supply the noble groundwork of an epic poem, cannot safely be received as authentic history. According to the obvious sense of the Edda, and the interpretation of the most skilful critics, As-gard, instead of denoting a real city of the Asiatic Sarmatia, ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... not move; her aunt returns from the Bradfords' and after a few ineffectual attempts at conversation goes to bed alone; the candles gutter, flicker, and die out; the room is filled of sacred silence. Once more the clock chimes forth the hour—the hour of fluted peace, of dead desire and epic love. Oh not for aye, Endymion, mayst thou unfold the purple panoply of priceless years. She sleeps—PRISCILLA sleeps—and down the palimpsest of age-old passion the lyres of night breathe forth their poignant praise. She sleeps—eternal Helen—in the ...
— A Parody Outline of History • Donald Ogden Stewart

... as though he would read o'er The scroll of rising winds, the burst of suns, And lists—ah, might it be earth's shore Freed of her epic hates and tuned groans! War's passion beat, and woe's sad chorus past, And all her song pure-winnowed, clear at last, Pouring the music of ...
— Path Flower and Other Verses • Olive T. Dargan

... had entirely recovered Nero commanded his presence at Antium, whither the court was going for the hot summer months. Nero was ambitious to write an immortal epic poem which should rival the "Odyssey," and in order that he might describe realistically a burning city, gave a secret command while he was in Antium that Rome ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... The reason why these were adopted only in the dramas, while the Odyssey of Livius was written in the national Saturnian measure, evidently was that the iambuses and trochees of tragedy and comedy far more easily admitted of imitation in Latin than the epic dactyls. ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... the fiery tones in rhythmed laws, Zophiel sketched with glowing pen the joys of virtue, the glories of the intellect, and the pleasures, pains, raptures, woes, and loves of the heart. The deeds of heroes were sung in Epic; Dramas, Elegies, and Lyrics syllabled the inner life; men listened to the ennobling strains, and became freemen as they heard. The intermingling flow of high thought and melodious measures elevated and soothed the soul, and love for, and faith in, humanity, ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV. - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... dollars do not jingle;—full of the unrest and movement of our century, so that the reader is hurried from place to place and sea to sea, and the book is less a romance than a panorama—in the end, as blood-bespattered as an epic? ...
— The Wrecker • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... suddenly arose about some trifling detail. And thus he continued blowing his trumpet, making himself more and more important as if some irresistible force impelled him to turn his narrative into a genuine epic. Moreover Granoux and Roudier stood by his side prompting him, reminding him of such trifling matters as he omitted. They also were burning to put in a word, and occasionally they could not restrain themselves, ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... estates of the extent of principalities. Many of the poorer amongst the nobility attached themselves to their better-situated brethren, becoming their dependents and willing tools. The relation of the nobility to the peasantry is well characterised in a passage of Mickiewicz's epic poem Pan Tadeusz, where a peasant, on humbly suggesting that the nobility suffered less from the measures of their foreign rulers than his own class, is told by one of his betters that this is a silly remark, seeing that peasants, like eels, ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... The Age which produced the Faerie Queene II. The Author of the Faerie Queene III. Study of the Faerie Queene: 1. A Romantic Epic 2. Influence of the New Learning 3. Interpretation of the Allegory 4. The Spenserian Stanza 5. Versification 6. Diction and Style IV. Chronological ...
— Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I • Edmund Spenser

... his own explanation. "Just as the embroidery on the silk here suggested to you—after you had hypnotized yourself—that you were the chief of the Forty-Seven Ronins, so this first coin here in turn suggested to you that you were Rustem, the hero of the 'Epic of Kings.' You have read ...
— Tales of Fantasy and Fact • Brander Matthews

... be learned from the writings of Homer of the state of medicine in his time, although we need hardly expect to find in an epic poem many references to diseases and their cure. As dissection was considered a profanation of the body, anatomical knowledge was exceedingly meagre. Machaon was surgeon to Menelaus and Podalarius was the pioneer of phlebotomy. Both were regarded ...
— Outlines of Greek and Roman Medicine • James Sands Elliott

... prose show a quite different process of development. In prose, connected narrative has found free expression. In poetry, the epic process is neglected. Besides the formal dirge and highly developed lyric songs (often accompanied and interpreted by dance), the characteristic form is the eulogistic hymn, designed to honor an individual by rehearsing his family's achievements, but in broken and ejaculatory panegyric rather ...
— The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai • Anonymous

... one exception English poets. They are poets, too, so to speak, of one family, unequal in rank, but having that resemblance of character which marks the higher and lower peaks of the same mountain-chain. All are epic and lyric, none in a proper sense dramatic. All are poets de pur sang, endowed by nature with the special qualities which cannot be confounded with those of a different order, and which forbid all doubt as to a true "vocation." Dante, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVII. No. 101. May, 1876. • Various

... Epic abounds in moral and poetical defects; nevertheless it remains the most complete picture of the national mind at its highest elevation, the most precious document of national history, if the history of an age is revealed in ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... generates mythology; in union with imagination and reason, it gives birth to theology and cosmogony; in union with imagination, reason, and experience, it is the source of philosophy; in union with the same, together with the artistic sense and high degrees of imaginative sympathy, it creates epic poetry and art. Its total outcome, however, may be included under the term Belief. And it results from an assumed validity of consciousness, that universal belief is always an indication of universal truth. At the same time, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... and satirical ballads; his friend Zacharia Stoyanoff (d. 1889), who began life as a shepherd, has left some interesting memoirs. The most distinguished Bulgarian man of letters is Ivan Vazoff (b. 1850), whose epic and lyric poems and prose works form the best specimens of the modern literary language. His novel Pod Igoto (Under the Yoke) has been translated into several European languages. The best dramatic work is Ivanko, a historical play by Archbishop Clement, who also wrote ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... land of the Basques. This hero was Roland, the nephew of the great emperor Charlemagne, who has been given by romantic fiction the first place among the legendary Paladins of France, and made memorable in epic poetry as the hero of the celebrated "Orlando Furioso" of Ariosto, and the less ...
— Historical Tales, Vol. 6 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality. French. • Charles Morris

... Mr. Densher as a source of information could scarcely help having an awkwardness. She invented the awkwardness under Densher's eyes, and he marvelled on his side at the instant creation. It served her as the fine cloud that hangs about a goddess in an epic, and the young man was but vaguely to know at what point of the rest of his visit she had, for consideration, melted into it and ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James



Words linked to "Epic" :   rhapsody, epical, heroic verse, large, Iliad, epic poem, epos, larger-than-life, heroic poem, heroic



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