Epic Definition

An extensive, serious poem that tells the story about a heroic figure. A broadly defined genre of poetry, and one of the major forms of narrative literature. It retells in a continuous narrative the life and works of a heroic or mythological person or group of persons.


An Epic is a type of poem which is a lengthy narrative. This type of poem usually tells a tale of a heroic deed or an adventure. This tale of events which takes place within the epic poem is usually significant to a tale or a culture. A good example of this style of poem would be the Odyssey by Homer. This type of poem has a list of ten main components, starting with a beginning and usually ending with the main character or hero descending to hell or another realm. An ep

features many struggles for the characters, with rises and falls throughout to convey a message or theme to the reader. Many times, greater themes are hidden within the text and tale of an epic, giving the piece more than one meaning. Because of this, many people use these types of poems to study philosophy, humanity, culture, religion and more. This type of poem has continued to remain a popular and well studied type of poetry throughout decades. 

Epic Poem Example

  • The Iliad, ascribed to Homer (Greek mythology)
  • The Odyssey, ascribed to Homer (Greek mythology)
  • Top 5 Epic Poem Examples

    PMPoem TitlePoetFormCategories
    Premium Member Poem REFLECTION A , SKAT Epicabuse, death, for her,
    Black Diamond Night A , Poet Destroyer Epicbody, death, history, lonely,
    The Best Poem Ever A , Poet Destroyer Epicdeath, words, heart, heart,
    Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis A , Poet Destroyer Epicabuse, analogy, art, corruption,
    Pandora's Kiss A , Poet Destroyer Epicadventure, beauty, death, deep,

    Other Epic Definition

    [n] a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds
    [adj] surpassing the ordinary especially in size or scale; "an epic voyage"; "of heroic proportions"; "heroic sculpture"
    [adj] constituting or having to do with or suggestive of a literary epic; "epic tradition"


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    Misc. Definitions

    \Ep"ic\, a. [L. epicus, Gr. ?, from ? a word, speech, tale, song; akin to L. vox voice: cf. F. ['e]pique. See {Voice}.] Narrated in a grand style; pertaining to or designating a kind of narrative poem, usually called an heroic poem, in which real or fictitious events, usually the achievements of some hero, are narrated in an elevated style. The epic poem treats of one great, complex action, in a grand style and with fullness of detail. --T. Arnold.
    \Ep"ic\, n. An epic or heroic poem. See {Epic}, a.

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