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The noblest poem that ever was wrote in any language or in any age" [Sir John Denham Cited Wedgwood, 46] John Milton's Paradise Lost essentially belongs to the genre of epic poetry. Yet in retelling the biblical myth of God and Satan, Satan's enticement of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, seeking to "assert the eternal Providence/ And justify the ways of God to men,"[Milton, I.26] Milton has perceptively shifted from the traditional track of epic narration, imaginatively transforming almost all the elements of epic narration- myth, history, form and language- into a classical, yet modern, "personal vision of the battle between good and evil." [Baldwin, 168] The essay…
Considered to be one of the highest genres of all poetry, epics are essentially very long narrative poems presenting the exploits of a central heroic figure usually a national hero or a god, as the poems genuinely represent the significant cultural precepts of the time, perhaps important to the history of a nation or even mankind. In form and composition also epics presents conventional characteristics as set forth by the three principal Classical epics, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Vergil's Aeneid. The elevated style of presentation, the great deeds of heroism, the scale and significance of the setting and events, commencing the story in media res, that is to say in the middle of things, the traditional invocation to the Muse or the divine inspiration, the lengthy speeches, the depiction of war and the list of brave warriors and are common attributes that traditionally characterise epic poetry. [Baldwin, 169-172]
Since the publication of the Classical epics and ot ...
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