Epics in The Origin of Species








Epics constitutes a literary genus different from the scientific or didactic genus in use. Far from describing natural phenomena or raising scientific hypotheses, the purpose of epic literature consists in affecting, thrilling the reader to change his mental schemes. The reading of The Origin of Species realized in this blog throughout the years and the rhetorical analysis of it shows that The Origin of Species is, as the Iliad or the Eneid, a classic work of epics.

Among the details that confirm this conclusion we find the presence of typical elements, the symbols of this literary style, the horse and sword.

Do you know how many times the word horse appears in The Origin of the Species?

Seventy seven.

Obvious, will say some. The horse is a species and the book deals with the origin of species.

It could be, but it does not justify seventy seven mentions.


And then … the sword? The sword, another great symbol of the epics only appears once in The Origin of the Species.  Only one, but impressive, mention. It says:

The males of carnivorous animals are already well armed; though to them and to others, special means of defence may be given through means of sexual selection, as the mane of the lion, and the hooked jaw to the male salmon; for the shield may be as important for victory as the sword or spear.





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