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Epic Literature

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Free «Epic Literature» Essay Sample


Epic literature is a term used to describe a narrative poem that exposes character presenting high level of adventuring skills, which deem them heroic in historic events of a given society. Both the “Ramayana of Valmiki” and “The Odyssey” can be highly regarded as epic in their own manner. Ramayana of Valmiki has a number of characteristics that qualify it to be a piece of epic literal. To begin with, the opening of the story depicts narration “A long time back…”. The narrative is also revealed to set into the stage somewhere mind-way; a characteristic referred to as “in medias res”.  This is depicted in the manner by which the narrative starts by describing the kingdom of Ayodhya which was ruled by a Dashratha. In addition, the narrative can also be regarded as an epic in the fact that the theme of the story comes out clearly at the beginning of the story – Nobility, especially of the king. Rama is also demonstrated throughout the story as a hero in the community for rescuing his wife Sita. Finally, the presence of supernatural powers “Agni the god of fire raises Sita” supports the fact that this story is an epic literal work.

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On the other hand, The Odyssey story share some of the characteristic with Ramayana of Valmiki that qualifies it the title of epic literature work. The presence of powers beyond human capability is common among epic literal work; there are several gods playing a different role in the story. The author also uses Epithet such as “Wine-dark Sea” and In medias res starting the story at the middle where the story teller flashbacks to recapture the real details.


One of the key women playing a role in the development of strong kingdom in the Ramayana of Vilmiki is Kaikeyi. In the story, she was the youngest wife of King Dasratha. Ideally, she is revealed as a villain, though she helped in Rama’s development and the way he ascended into power. She is vested with the role of trickily that so Rama, his wife, Sita, and Lakshmana. In the common eye, this was villainous, and an act of jealous. However, she was ramifying an agreement between her and Rama, who was an incarnation of a heroic god-Vishnu. Without her in the story, Rama could not have killed King of Asuras nor could King Dasratha’s commitment to his vow could have been witnessed.  Another role of Kaikeyi was to reveal the fight for power in the King family, especially those leader with multiple wives.  

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Indrajit was so much guided by his might and success in war to an extent of overlooking the possibility of his defeat. All he concentrated in was to overwhelm the tough opponents in the battlefield, to an extent of failing to pave in logical thinking. He was much aware that Lakshman was an incarnation of a god and thus could not die that easily, yet he kept pursuing his mission of eliminating Lakshman; thus, inviting his death.

Despite the fact that Ravana was a god he wrongful ascribed to his dharma when he captured Situ in the forest with the mission of vengeance. This was a revisit to his tactics of punishing Rama and avenging her sister’s punishment that she suffered after she attempted to seduce Rama and his brother. Ravana’s acts were against the dharma; thus, did not fulfill his dharma as dictated. 


The poem portrays love as a painful feeling where mostly a single partner is left to groan with pain. The other partner in the relation has tough measures that prohibit them from coming together. The girl refuses the boy for the mere fact that he is a wretched person who cannot offer her rosy life; which has been her dream. The man, heartbroken cries of shreds of sympathy from the girl of her heart thought there is minimal effort to recognize these efforts. In the long-run, he resigns and refrains from relations with deep hatred for the women.  As the poem rolls up, the poet reveals repercussions of unfruitful love where the man proclaims infidelity “one can love and lie elsewhere” due to unrewarding love. However, if the woman loved by the man agrees to his pledge, he can love forever “Good lady deign to love me, and I’ll not lie or feign”

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On the other hand, the story of Ramayana of Valmiki love is seen to undergo rigorous test to proof its strength. Sita conforms to the doctrines of love even when abducted in the forest; she still abides to Ramas love. However, speculations of her fidelity lingers among village mates and leads to a test. She is dared to undergo fire test where she is rescued by the god of fire. In the long-run, she is banished by Rama for interest of the village.


In the story of “The Arabians Night”, Grand-Vizir was under full command of the king. Whatever the King commanded him to execute, he had no option other than conforming to those orders. In this respect, his fate was designed, and any alteration from breaking through from these chains could have led to his death. His powerlessness form unchaining his life and role from those dictated by the King was eminently revealed when he could not save his daughter from the realm of death at the palace “Whatever the cost, I will obey you”.

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Similarly, Odysseus fate rest on the hands of the Ithaca Kingdom.  Being in the hands of mighty gods and the differences in power and capabilities, even his son who has matured has difficulties arbitrating for the release of his father. Therefore, despite Odysseus having powers almost to those of the gods, he is in a fixed of dictate his fate.  

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