Create an epic poem details the exploits of a hero. Consider creating Beowulf into a modern day superhero or taking a modern societal figure and morphing them into a modern day epic hero. Remember that a great hero goes on a quest to rid the world of some great evil and the story is about the journey, the defeat of evil and the profound lesson the hero learns as a result of their journey. Your poem must be a minimum of at least 50 lines in length and must meet the following criteria:
- Each line must be at least 4 words
- You need a minimum of five stanzas
- You must use poetic devices such as simile, metaphor and personification (at least one example, in your poem)
- You must include a kenning = a colorful indirect naming of an object as a compound word such as – The sea is a whalepath, a battle is spearplay, the sun is the candle of the skies ***Remember to identify the subject before you use a kenning to describe it, i.e. say “sea” first before using “whale path”
- Your opening lines must invoke a muse, god or goddess for inspiration
- You must state the epic theme (battle over good and evil for example)
- The hero must experience “nekuia” or travel to the underworld – and you must describe the journey, battle and anything associated with the underworld
- Your poem must contain supernatural elements – there needs to be a monster or supernatural creature within the story that you need to describe fully – physically, characteristics, etc.
- The hero must travel on a journey seeking glory for the greater good – it must include a battle or heroic deed – be sure to describe the journey in complete detail as well as describe their descent into “hell and back” (nekuia)
- Your story/poem must tell the journey from beginning to end and focus on a human problem (love, death, war, good vs. evil, etc.)
- Your hero must be “larger than life” and include super-human strength, a tragic flaw, represent diverse cultural, religious, and/or national values, embody the highest ideals of loyalty, valor, unselfishness and a sense of justice – be sure to fully describe him/her physically, mentally, ***all characteristics
- The poem must include rhyme and have a definite meter/rhythm – although the entire poem does not have to rhyme.
Please limit your poem to no more than 100 lines. It may be typed or handwritten as long as it is legible. The final copy is due_________________.
Your grade will be based upon the following criteria:
Journey of the hero 25
Mythical/supernatural elements 10
Continuity of the story/greater good 15
Poetic Conventions 50
****There will be one point deduction per mechanical/grammatical error.
Final is due _____________________
Extra Credit – Create a movie poster featuring your hero/superhero
My tale is one of great adventure
I ask master of lore Tolkien to guide my words (invoke the muse)
As I tell the tale of strength and sensor
Of the great Gandalf leader of lords
We venture to the great land of Middle Earth
Gandalf was a magician of great power
His wisdom and strength knew no equal
Against foe large or small, he would not cower
His fortitude and might continued in sequel
Until the madness of Sauron was unfurred
Our tale takes us to the great land of many of mountainous plains (kenning)
A place only read about in books and shared in stories
A grand place of creatures and scenes
Where unsuspecting farmers accomplish love and glory
It begins in a Hobbit hole, with a ring on a hearth
Bilbo and Frodo shared a secret ring
It made them invisible and prey to divine vision
Soon they would find that it would be testing
And drove those who sought it to derision
Their task, Great Gandalf and all was to return it to Doom . . . (journey of the hero)
****Remember this is only a sample and should not be your epic – your epic is a minimum of 50 lines.
Hero’s Name and description:
Foe or evil force:
Description of monster/evil force/ supernatural:
****Below is a tentative outline for you to use to help create your epic. You do not have to adhere to this example – although you must invoke the muse in the first stanza and you must resolve your story/poem by the final stanza.
1st stanza – invoke the muse and describe the problem that plagues the people
2nd stanza – describe the foe/villain and the problem he/she/it is causing (physically, mentally, characteristics, etc.)
3rd stanza – introduce and describe the hero (physically, mentally, characteristics, etc.)
4th stanza – describe the hero’s decision to defeat the foe and where/why he must go
5th stanza – describe the journey
6th stanza – describe what happens when hero and villain meet
7th stanza – describe the battle
8th stanza – explain the outcome of the battle (possibly reveal hero’s flaw here)
9th stanza – explain how the entire journey, fight, etc. Served the greater good
10th stanza – bring the poem to a close and describe the celebration of the world, and how the hero’s journey/task was for the greater good of mankind; i.e. rid the world of evil and humans can now live in relative peace without the fear of being eaten , etc.