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Epyllion Definition

An epyllion poem is a poem that describes an epic or a story through the use of tone. An epyllion poem is generally short. It narrates with tones, styles, and setting. The tone of an epyllion poem tends to be elevated such as is the case with an elegy. Generally, the topic of an epyllion poem surrounds romance and adventure. This form of poetry was most common and most used around the third century, B.C.

There are few popular English examples of epyllion poetry. William Shakespeare's poem, "Rape of Lucrece" being one. An epyllion poem does not follow a specific meter or rhyme scheme. It has no set rules to follow. Any poem that is a short narrative of adventure and whimsy can be classified as an epyllion so long as the tone and style resemble that of an epic. A grand tale or adventure and valor or of heart throbbing, or heartbreaking romance. 


A brief narrative poem with a romantic or mythological theme.

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