Epics Vs. Legends

Difference Between Epics And Legends
Myths are not the only stories that were originally passed along orally. Legends, like myths, are stories about the past that are believed to be true. Myths, however, deal with gods and supernatural beings and with deeds set in the very distant past. Legends tell of interesting or remarkable events that have occurred to human characters within human history, often in the very recent past. Epics are in some respects like legends. But they have some additional specific qualities. Epics are long narrative poems that are frequently sung or recited. They recount and praise the great deeds and adventures of human heroes. Almost everyone has heard or read folktales or fairy tales. These are stories, such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Snow White,” that are set in no particular time (“once upon a time”). They are told for entertainment and are generally thought of by those who tell them as fiction.
These terms, each designating a type of oral story, are useful general categories. Yet it is not always possible to precisely classify a particular story. Myths frequently overlap with other types of stories. For example, perhaps the best-known epics in the Western world are the Iliad and the Odyssey. These two works were composed by the Greek poet Homer in the 700’s B.C. But they are believed to have existed as oral stories long before then. For the most part the Iliad and the Odyssey concentrate on the adventures of great human heroes: their wars, travels, adventures, speeches, and romances. But both works continually refer to the actions and strategies of the Greek gods. They picture the gods as exerting great influence on human affairs.

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