They are old, well known, made a mark in history, unique, time tested, alluded to frequently, universal, high quality, ambiguity.
The genre of literature many epics are of.
Often used in Greek tragedy. Principle heroes often have a tragic flaw that leads them to their demise. For example, Achilles short-temper and stubbornness.
"eternal glory" If you really stood out on the battlefield you would have immortality in the sense that you would be remembered forever and be famous.
Material gifts and awards you get for being a hero.
You have duty to kill whoever killed your loved one. Achilles killed Hector for killing Patroclus.
Guest/host relationship. If a stranger arrives at your door you would take them in and treat them well. Then the gust would tell about his home and be glad to having you at his house when you visit his area.
A long, narrative poem in which everything is on a heroic and exalted scale: characters, actions, language, and style. Plot is simple, dealing with a central incident from traditional or legendary material. Theme involves universal human problems. Setting is remote in time and place, but of significance to the nation's history. The hero towers above other characters; he exemplifies cultural traits. Supernatural actions and characters are introduced. Warfare is an accepted part of life and great battles are featured. The style is objective, lofty, and elaborate.
Transformation of character from childhood to adulthood. Loss or disappointment causes person to leave safety of home or haven. Long and difficult evolution of character; includes series of conflicts between character and society. Individual's tolerance and adoption of societal values; recognizes and accepts change and takes position in society.
In medias res
A point just short of the climax and later fills in previous events with a "flashback".
This is the meter the original The Iliad was written in. A dactyl is a 3-syllable foot consisting of 1 stressed + 2 unstressed syllables. 6 dactylic feet make the line hexameter.
Five pairs of "unstressed, stressed" in each line. What the "Canterbury Tales" are written in.
A compound adjective that repeatedly reminds the reader of the dominant trait of a character or thing. (EX. "breaker of horses", "ox-eyed")
Used a lot in the Canterbury Tales as Latin was the standard of Western Europe at the time and was well respected, of high class.
Old English poetry seldom used rhyme, but it did make extensive use of alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of initial sounds. .The author of "Beowulf" uses alliteration in almost every line of the poem. (EX. "hlafordes, hyryre, heorth-geneatas")
An Anglo-Saxon word meaning follower, attendant, retainer, warrior.
A story within a narrative or framework; a story within a story. (The Canterbury Tales)
A short romantic poem. (Breton refers to its place of origin, Brittany). (The Franklin's Tale)
A short, often coarse tale with a snappy ending. (Merchant's Tale, Miller's Tale)
A story about a martyr for the Christian faith. (Prioress' Tale)
A tale which features chivalric love and adventure. (Knight's Tale)
A tale told to prove a point, often part of a sermon. (Pardoner's Tale, Wife of Bath's Tale)
An animal story. (Nun's Priest's Tale)
Of or relating to the church.
Expressing sorrow for something now past; melancholy.
hateful, abusive, bitter language, unrelieved by humor.
Words or phrases that read the same backwards or forwards. (EX. "Madam, I'm Adam.")
The history of a word, tracing its development since its earliest recorded occurrence in the language.
Transposition of letters or syllables in a sentence (scientific term: metathesis). These might be accidental or deliberate. The term derived from the Rev. William Archibald Spooner, a clergyman in the Church of England. (EX. "It is kisstomery to cuss the bride.")
Misusing a "high sounding" word out of ignorance or vanity. The term derives from Mrs. Malprop, a character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play "The Rivals". (EX. "He's the very pineapple of politeness.")
"Huru ne gemunde mago Ecglafes" (Indeed the kinsman of Ecglaf did not remember). [Beowulf]
"Why is my neighebores wyf so gay?" [Canterbury Tales]
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate." [Shakespeare and so forth]
During the Black Death, many clerics join priesthood, though they aren't qualified and don't truly care for the position, to get free food and shelter. They ignored their duties and didn't associate with those with the plague.
The original version of "The Inferno" is written in this. It is 3 line stanzas of interlaced rhyme: ABABCBCDC, etc.
A technique that employs exaggeration and wit to ridicule a subject, usually some social institution or human foible, often with the intention to inspire reform.
A philosophy that arose during the Renaissance centered on people and human values, it exalted human free will and superiority to the rest of nature. Man was considered the measure of all thing.
One who hates mankind.
Of or relating to excrement.