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Epic (genre)

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Title: Epic (genre)  
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Subject: Genre, Narrative, Novel, List of American films of 1963, History of Eastern role-playing video games
Collection: Epics
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Epic (genre)

An epic is traditionally a genre of poetry, known as epic poetry.[1] However in modern terms, epic is often extended to other art forms, such as epic theatre, films, music, novels, plays, television shows, and video games, [1] wherein the story has a theme of grandeur and heroism,[2] just as in epic poetry.


There are many genres of epic (exclusive of epic poetry): epic fantasy describes works of fantasy, such as in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.[3] Epic fantasy has been described as containing three elements: it must be a trilogy or longer, its time-span must encompass years or more, and it must contain a large back-story or universe setting in which the story takes place.[3] Epic fantasy is not limited to the Western tradition: Arabic epic literature includes examples of epic fantasy such as Thousand and One Nights.[4]

The epic film genre encompasses historical epics, religious epics, and western epics,[5] although it has split into many other genres and sub-genres.[6][7]

The female epic examined ways in which female authors have adapted the masculine epic tradition to express their own heroic visions.[8] There are chivalric epics from the Middle Ages, national epics, and pan-national epics. The real-life stories of heroic figures have also been referred to as being epic; examples include Ernest Shackleton's exploration adventures in Antarctica.[9]


  1. ^ a b Paul Merchant (June 1971). The Epic. Routledge Kegan & Paul.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Derek M. Buker (2002). "The Long and Longer of It: Epic Fantasy". The Science Fiction and Fantasy Readers' Advisory. ALA Editions. p. 118. 
  4. ^ John Grant and John Clute. "Arabian fantasy". The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. 
  5. ^ Timothy Corrigan (2012). The Film Experience: An Introduction. Macmillan. p. 329. 
  6. ^ Constantine Santas (2008). "Table of Contents". The Epic in Film: From Myth to Blockbuster. Rowman & Littlefield. p. v. 
  7. ^ Robert Burgoyne (2011). The Epic Film. Taylor & Francis. 
  8. ^ Schweizer, Bernard (2006). Approaches to the Anglo and American Female Epic, 1621-1982. Aldershot: Ashgate
  9. ^ Raymond Briggs (1969). Shackleton's Epic Voyage; Lennard Bickel (2001) Shackleton's Forgotten Men: The Untold Tragedy of the Endurance Epic; Frank Arthur Worsley (1931), Endurance: An Epic of Polar Adventure


  • Paul Merchant. The Epic. Routledge Kegan & Paul (June 1971). ISBN 978-0-416-19700-6
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