Epic is a narrative genre characterised by its length, scope, and subject matter. The defining characteristics of the genre are mostly derived from its roots in ancient epics (poems such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey). The epic is no longer limited to the traditional medium of oral poetry, but has expanded to include modern mediums including film, theater, television shows, novels, and video games.The use of epic as a genre, specifically for epic poetry, dates back millenia, all the way to the Epic of Gilgamesh, widely agreed to be the first epic. But critique and discourse has continuously arisen over this long period of time, with attempts to clarify what the core characteristics of the “epic” genre really are beginning only in the past two centuries as new mediums of storytelling emerged with developing technologies. Most significantly, the advent of the novel, such as classics like Tolstoy’s War and Peace which began to be referred to as “epic novels”, caused critics to reconsider what can be called an “epic”. With this discussion, epic became a larger overarching genre under which many subgenres, such as epic poetry, epic novels, and epic films could fall under. However, the nebulous definitions assigned to even the long-standing ancient epics due to their ubiquitous presence across vastly differing cultures and traditions, are still a topic of discourse for today’s literary academics, and have caused lingering difficulties in creating a definitive definition for the umbrella term of “epic” as a genre. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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