Heroic, Long, Grand, Monumental and Homeric!
In Literary usage, the term encompasses both written and oral works.
Epics are characterized by the combination of drama with a narrative (According to Plato)
The best known Epics are Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey
The Odyssey deals with the the misadventures of Odysseus trying to return from the Trojan War and the shenanigans of the suitors trying to usurp his place back in Ithaca (The Odyssey is a more fanciful, supernatural tale which involves mythical beasts and menaces such as Sirens and the Cyclops).
Dante's Inferno- about Dante's journey through the 9 circles of Hell guided by the Roman poet Virgil
Paradise Lost- Concerns Adam and Eve, the biblical story of the Fall of Man, and Satan.
Characteristics of Epic Works
- The Heroes have a strict code of right and wrong.
- They have a consistent moral code that they use.
- The material is not trite and focused on subtleties but is more quixotic, imaginative, and grand.
- Speeches hold special significance and make up a large part of dialogue.