Epic poem

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Appunto essenziale sulle caratteristiche del poema epico e della ballata in lingua inglese. (file.doc, 1 pag) (0 pagine formato doc)

Epic poem EPIC POEM It is a poem of great length and in dignified language, concerned with the deeds of some national hero, historical or legendary.
The epic hero is usually protected by gods; he has superhuman strength, character or intellect and performs superhuman exploits in battle or marvellous voyages, often saving or founding a nation. The aim of the poem is often to celebrate the nation in which the poem was produced. The action is simple and usually presents a central incident or series of incidents of legendary or historical significance. The setting is a large one, often national as in “Beowulf”. The time is usually a distant past which is often described as a golden or at least heroic age.
The style is elevated. THE BALLAD The traditional ballad is an anonymous poem dating back to the late Middle Ages originally intended for singing and dancing. Ballads were probably composed by a single author, passed on orally from generation to generation and altered in the process with the result that there are several versions of the same ballad. The original author was the poet who entertained the people of a local community by making up songs. Ballads continued to be transmitted orally for many centuries and were only written down in the 18th century. The traditional ballad tells a story, often a tragic one. The themes are universal (love, death, revenge) and are drawn from everyday life of common people or from the border conflicts between English and Scots. The supernatural usually plays an important role in the events. The story-line is simple. It usually deals with a single episode, starts in mid-action, concentrates on a few essential details of plot, leaving the rest to the reader's imagination, and proceeds quickly to its conclusion. The narrative technique is fairly fixed. The story may be told entirely through direct speech or partly by a narrator and partly through direct speech. Facts and events are presented in an impersonal way. The narrator does not express personal feelings or make judgements on characters and events. Each stanza has 4 lines which rhyme abcb and alternate 4 stress and 3 stress lines (or occasionally the 4 lines rhyme aabb and have 4444 stress pattern). Usually a phrase, line or group of lines are repeated at intervals throughout the ballad at the end of a stanza and form a refrain. The language is usually rich in short concrete words with a majority of Anglo-Saxon origin. The narration proceeds mainly successive statements and coordination. Repetition is use to advance the story-line, to highlight a detail and to increase the memorability of the text. Sometimes it takes the shape of incremental repetition: that is, the repetition of a previous line or lines with a slight variation which advances the story by increments, or regular small additions.