Literary Term Mock Epic

Literary Term Mock Epic

Mock epic is a type of writing that uses humour to make fun of the style of traditional epic poetry and subjects. It uses an epic poem’s bombast, elevated language, and structure to highlight the absurdity or incongruity of the subject matter. Mock epics often use exaggerated language and heroic conventions to highlight the contrast between the epic style and the lightness of the subject, creating a humorous effect. “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope, “Don Juan” by Lord Byron, and “The Lutrin” by Nicolas Boileau are the most famous mock-epic.

Characteristics of Mock-epic: Mock-epic is a satirical form of literature that parodies the conventions of classical epic poetry. Here are some characteristics:

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  • Mimicking Epic Structure: Mock epic imitates traditional epic poetry’s structure, style, and language. This includes using elevated language, heroic themes, and an elevated tone.
  • Trivial or Ordinary Subject Matter: Instead of grand heroes and epic battles, mock epics often focus on trivial or everyday events, exaggerating their importance.
  • Ridicule and Satire: They employ satire and irony to mock the heroic conventions of epic poetry. It often uses humour and sarcasm to reduce the grandiosity of the epic form.
  • Use of Parody and Burlesque: Mock epics may employ parody, exaggeration, and burlesque to emphasize the contrast between the epic style and the mundane subject matter.
  • Inversion of Epic Themes: While traditional epics celebrate heroic virtues and grandeur, mock epics often reverse these themes. This portrays the ridiculousness or absurdity of heroic actions.

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  • Characters and Setting: Mock epics may feature exaggerated or flawed characters. It often portrays them as foolish. The setting might also be inconsistent with the epic tone.
  • Humour and Wit: Humour, wit, and clever wordplay are common in mock epics to highlight the contrast between the serious epic style and the comedic subject matter.
  • Social Commentary: Mock epics often contain satirical messages or social commentary. It satirizes societal norms, values, or specific events of the time.
Riya Akter
Riya Akter
Hey, This is Riya Akter Setu, B.A (Hons) & M.A in English from National University.



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