The Distinction Between an Epic and a Ballad Both a ballad and an epic are poetry that tell stories. A ballad, on the other hand, is less in length than an epic, and it is written to be sung rather than spoken on occasion. An epic poetry, on the other hand, presents a tale about the heroic values of a certain culture. These poems were often composed during times of war or rebellion when the people needed inspiration from their leaders.
Epics are usually longer than ballads. However, they can be as short as eight stanzas while a good-length ballad might only have five or six. Most often, however, they are divided into two parts: "the introduction" and "the conclusion". The introduction and the conclusion both consist of twelve lines but with different rhyme schemes and meter. This allows the poet to change the mood of the poem by changing which part he or she writes first. An epic poem may also have a third section called a "frame story". This is a narrative told by an older person who is familiar with the events being described. It serves to connect the various episodes within the main plotline and gives the reader additional information about the world of the poem.
Epics are commonly based on real events that happened many years earlier. However, some poets create fictional epics such as Milton's Paradise Lost or Pope's Homeric Epics. They may also take place in different time periods or cultures.
An epic has numerous traits that set it apart from other types of poetry: The length of the poem is the first and most noticeable quality of an epic. An epic is a long and detailed tale in poetry, similar to a novel rather than a poem. Although epics can be told in just a few lines of poetry, they are usually written in twenty-four or thirty-three lines of iambic pentameter (five feet) with a rhyming pattern of abab cdcd efef gggh. This form of poetry was popular in ancient Greece.
Another difference between epics and other poems is that epics are usually based on real events that have been altered to make a better story line. Long poems that tell stories about famous people or events are called historical poems; these poems are often based on true events but are made up of pieces from other poems or novels.
Long narrative poems that don't mention specific people or events are called fictional epics; these poems are made up of words taken from many different sources. One example of a fictional epic is The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Science fiction novels and movies are also examples of fictional epics because they use words to create new stories that are not based on real events.
Epics are usually written by more than one person over a long period of time.
An epic is a lengthy poem or other piece of art that celebrates heroic achievements. Epic is derived from the Greek word meaning song, as Greek authors such as Homer sung their poetry. We like to use the term "epic" to describe large, ambitious novels or films, particularly if they include a long journey. Epics often deal with fundamental issues in human nature such as greed, lust, violence, and love.
In modern usage, an "epic failure" is a fiasco or complete failure of an effort. The term is most commonly used when describing business ventures where much time, money, and energy have been invested but which fail to produce a profitable return. For example, a real estate agent may have spent many hours trying to sell a house but without success; this would be described as an epic failure of that sale as a venture.
The word "epic" has also become associated with any large-scale undertaking, especially one that is expensive or difficult. For example, an "epic trip" is a long journey abroad that takes a lot of time and money. An "epic movie" is a large-scale motion picture that usually deals with major social issues through storytelling.
Finally, the word "epic" has come to be used as a superlative adjective. Something "epic" is very great or large in size or scope.
Thus, it can be concluded that the two characteristics shared by ballads and epics are that they both originated from the oral poetic tradition because they are both forms of poems and were used to be sung or told by people; and that they both contain elements of a narrative because they tell stories and thus include narrative elements.
The distinction between legend and epic as nouns is that a legend is a story of unknown origin that describes plausible but extraordinary past events, whereas an epic is an extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language that celebrates the feats of a deity or demigod (heroic epic) or other legendary or traditional hero. These poems usually have a formal structure consisting of an introduction, one or more plots, conclusion. Some examples include The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, Beowulf.
Epics are often considered to be the highest form of poetry, because they express important ideas about life and society. Many authors consider Homer's Iliad to be the greatest epic poem of all time, because it expresses fundamental ideals such as courage, friendship, loyalty, and justice through the story of a battle between gods and men. Others may choose the Odyssey, which tells the story of a man who seeks redemption for his sins, or the Aeneid, which celebrates the accomplishments of its protagonist, Aeneas, after he has fled destruction at the hands of the Trojan War.
In addition to being a great work of art, an epic can also serve as a foundation for more modern writing, because many poets refer to earlier epics when composing their own works.