What Two Things Are Being Compared in This Epic Simile

What Two Things Are Being Compared in This Epic Simile

The epic simile dates back to at least the time of Homer. It’s named for its inclusion in his epics
The Iliad
The Odyssey.
Despite the fact that they originated in ballsy poems, ballsy similes tin exist used in different genres of poetry. These similes are also sometimes known as Homeric similes.

Epic Simile Pronunciation: eh-selection sim-eh-lee

Epic Simile Definition

An epic simile is a comparison betwixt two, normally unlike, things that use “like” or “as.” Equally with a normal simile, these comparisons suggest that one thing is “similar” or “as” another, not that one thing is another. Normally, a simile is ane or two lines. But epic similes tin can be much longer. Every bit the below examples demonstrate, they tin can last for dozens of lines.

Epic Simile Examples

Paradise Lost
past John Milton

Paradise Lost,
published past Milton in 1667, is an epic verse form similar
The Iliad and The Odyssey
This means that it’s a long, narrative work of poetry. It details incredible events and actions. Specifically,
Paradise Lost
describes the biblical story of the “Fall of Man.” It includes details about the temptation of Adam and Eve by Satan and what happened after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. It also features Satan every bit one of the primary characters. Consider these lines from Book I of
Paradise Lost:

 His legions—angel forms, who lay entranc’d

Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks

In Vallombrosa, where th’ Etrurian shades

High over-arch’d embow’r; or scatter’d sedge

Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm’d

Hath vex’d the Ruddy-Sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew

Busiris and his Memphian knightly,

While with perfidious hatred they pursu’d

The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld

From the safe shore their floating carkases

And broken chariot-wheels: so thick bestrown,

Abject and lost, lay these, covering the inundation,

Under amazement of their hideous alter.

Here, Milton is comparison Satan’s army to scattered autumn leaves. It starts off with the line, “Thick as autumnal leaves,” and continues on to use words like “Adrift,” “besprinkle’d,” and “floating” that keep to relate dorsum to the key simile.

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The Iliad
by Homer

This well-loved and incredibly famous ballsy poem was first written downwardly around the 8th century BC. Information technology was shared, for an unknown catamenia of time, orally. This ways that no written record existed and that the poem was only relayed past word of mouth. The verse form is set during the Trojan War and details the x-year siege on the city of Troy. Consider the following lines:

Rank and file

streamed behind and rushed similar swarms of bees

pouring out of a rocky hollow, burst on endless outburst,

bunched in clusters seething over the first spring blooms,

dark hordes swirling into the air, this way, that way—

and so the many armed platoons from the ships and tents

came marching on. close-file. along the deep wide beach

to oversupply the meeting grounds, and Rurnor. Zeus’southward crier,

like wildfire blazing amid them, whipped them on.

The troops assembled. The meeting grounds shook.

The earth groaned and rumbled under the huge weight

as soldiers took positions-the whole place in uproar.

Nine heralds shouted out, trying to keep some order,

“Quiet, battalions;silence! Hear your royal kings!”

The men were forced to their seats, marshaled into ranks,

the shouting died away … silence.

In this curt excerpt from
The Iliad,
readers tin come across how a simile might finer convey a particular atmosphere or help to create a memorable example of imagery. Hither, the men marching towards Troy from their ships and their diverse nations are compared to swarms of bees. This helps to define their number and the deep, living sound all those people would brand every bit they move as one. The translation used above was completed by Richard Lattimore.

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The Odyssey
by Homer

Another wonderful example of an epic simile tin exist found in
The Odyssey.
In this literary work, the author (or authors, as some scholars believe) depict Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War. Information technology takes another ten years and includes numerous detours and brushes with death. In a peculiarly famous passage, Odysseus and his crew encounter Scylla. Here are a few lines:

During this meditation a heavy surge

was taking him, in fact, directly on the rocks.

He had been flayed there, and his basic broken,

had not grey-eyed Athena instructed him:

he gripped a rock-ledge with both hands in passing

and held on, groaning, as the surge went by,

to keep clear of its breaking. Then the backwash

hitting him, ripping him under and far out.

An octopus, when you drag one from his chamber,

comes upward with suckers full of tiny stones:

Odysseus left the peel of his great hands

torn on that rock-ledge as the wave submerged him.

And now at terminal Odysseus would have perished,

battered inhumanly, but he had the gift

of cocky-possession from grey-eyed Athena.

And so, when the backwash spewed him upwards again,

he swam out and forth, and scanned the coast

for some landspit that made a breakwater.

In this excerpt, Odysseus is pulled from the rocks as an “octopus” might be dragged, by a fisherman, out of the body of water. His snowfall as left torn “on that rock-ledge.” The translation used to a higher place was completed by Robert Fitzgerald.


Why practise writers utilise ballsy similes?

They use epic similes when they want to extend a simile beyond its normal bounds. But like with extended metaphors, epic similes are a way of making a reader call back about something in a new way.

How practise you utilize an epic simile?

You lot can employ an epic simile past comparing one affair to another using “like” or “equally.” One of these two words is necessary for it to be a simile. It likewise needs to last for more than than 1 of ii lines. This means that related imagery may need to exist used.

How do you identify an epic simile?

You can identify an ballsy simile by how long it is. If information technology goes on for more than than a couple of lines, then it’s probable an ballsy simile.

  • Extended Metaphor: a literary term that refers to a long metaphorical comparison that can last an entire poem.
  • Imagery: refers to the elements of a poem that engage a reader’due south senses. These are the important sights, sounds, feelings, and smells.
  • Juxtaposition: a literary technique that places 2 different things next to ane another
  • Moral: the significant or message conveyed through a story.
  • Narrative Poem: contains all the elements of a story and are commonly longer than average.

Other Resources

  • Read:

    The Odyssey
    by Homer
  • Heed:
    Classics Summarized –
    Paradise Lost
  • Listen:

    The Iliad
    by Homer

What Two Things Are Being Compared in This Epic Simile

Source: https://poemanalysis.com/figurative-language/epic-simile/