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Didactic Definition

A form of verse, the aim of which is to instruct the mind and improve morals. It essentially lays out a body of detailed information for the reader with the aim of molding the reader into a certain ethical or religious frame of mind.


A didactic poem is a type of poem which is meant to teach as well as entertain. Each word must have a deeper moral, religious, philosophical, or artistic meaning. The purpose of the didactic poem is to provide clear instructions or ethical queries to the reader or listener.

Famously, Milton’s Paradise Lost is a form of a didactic poem. This poem does not contain traditional poetry requirements, but rather adheres to an extremely formal structure. The moral lesson contained within the rhyming lines are explicit and apparent.

It is unclear where the origin of didactic poems can be found. This form of poetry may not have been founded by any individual, but rather by a culture. The earliest didactic poems were discovered in Greece, with the famous poem Works and Days by Hesiod dating back to 700 BC.

Didactic poems are less literary and more formal. While many didactic poems contain rhyming schemes or repeated meters, they can be seen in the form of traditional stories or forms of prose as well. 

Didactic Poem Example

Example:

Recipe For Heavenly Destination

To get to Heaven
And stay with Christ
Follow this recipe
And his face you will see

Love
Love your neighbor
Love everyman
Spread the love as much as you can

Pray
Talk to the Lord
Show Him you care
With Him your feelings and worries share

Follow
Follow his teachings
Follow his way
Wherever he goes, follow you may

Lead
Lead the ones who don't see
Lead the ones that don't feel the love
Lead them to the Lord above

Copyright © 2000 David Arlaud
 

Other Didactic Definition

[adj] instructive especially excessively


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Misc. Definitions

\Di*dac"tic\, Didactical \Di*dac"tic*al\, a. [Gr. ?, fr. ? to teach; akin to L. docere to teach: cf. F. didactique. See {Docile}.] Fitted or intended to teach; conveying instruction; preceptive; instructive; teaching some moral lesson; as, didactic essays. ``Didactical writings.'' --Jer. Taylor. The finest didactic poem in any language. --Macaulay.
\Di*dac"tic\, n. A treatise on teaching or education. [Obs.] --Milton.

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