Heroic Epic YKTTW Discussion
A part of a mythology which deals with great heroes, champions and their exploits
Do we have this? And if we don't, why the hell? A Heroic Epic is a major part of a mythology. Unlike religious myths, which tell about gods and creation of the world, the heroic epic is noticeably more down-to-earth; its heroes are larger-than-life mortals rather than gods and spirits (those are likely to enter the story as supporting characters in roles like Big Good, mentor or quest-giver), and there are indeed heroic epics based on Christianity rather than old pagan faiths, such as the British Arthurian cycle and the Russian Byliny. Heroic epics are written later than myths, and are more likely to form a consistent narrative rather than a loose bundle of tales. The heroic epic is one of the oldest precursors of the Fantasy genre, and of course is Older Than Dirt. It's usually composed as epic poetry - a poetic narrative belonging to an oral tradition.
- The Arthurian cycle and Beowulf in Great Britain.
- The Byliny in Russia.
- The Indian epics The Mahabharata and The Ramayana.
- The Epic of Gilgamesh in ancient Mesopotamia.