What is Epigram Characteristics and 10 Examples Of Epigram


The epigram is a very short type of poem that deals with a single idea. This composition has the characteristic of being very precise, clear, cheerful and ironic.

The epigram originated in Ancient Greece, but was present in Latin poetry, in the Spanish Baroque and in the 18th century in England, France and Germany.

Greek epigrams were found on tombs, weapons, statues, temples or other places and later became a lyrical subgenre and began to appear in books or other types of writings.

In addition, the themes and function were modified (in some cases, these compositions ceased to have an ironic-comic effect and began to have a moralizing purpose).

Characteristics Of The Epigram

  • Shape . It is usually made up of a few verses or a short sentence. Usually it has two parts, in the first the theme is presented and in the second a reflection on the theme is made.
  • language economy . Very few words are used to express a thought.
  • He . The themes are very varied, they can be morality, love , a sentence, something important at the time, the recognition of an important figure, among others.
  • Satirical . Satire is used to criticize certain behaviors and can be mocking or moralizing.
  • It belongs to the lyrical genre . The author’s thought or reflection is conveyed.

Examples Of Epigrams

1.Someday we will see the earth by divine work;
now the sea is a circus to jump from the wind.

Philettes of Cos, 340 BC. C. – 285 a. W.

2.Flee the earth from the sea and seize the cistus
if you want to see the end of a long life;
on land the years are long, and on the other hand it is not easy
to find gray heads among sailors.

Falecus of Phocis, who lived between the 4th century BC. C. and the 3rd century BC. C. .

3.Three menalian stag heads with huge antlers
they are consecrated to you in your portico, Apollo;
on horseback the quick hand of the children caught them
from the brave Leontiadas, Dailocos and Promenes.

Perses, Greek poet.

4.I salute you, O twins Neoclidas!, the one from the fatherland
freed the other from bondage and folly.

Menander, 342 a. C.-291 a. W.

5.You admire, Vacerra, only the ancients and only praise dead poets. Excuse me, I beg you, Vacerra: it’s not worth dying to like you.

Marco Valerius Martial, 40-104.

6.Everyone lives suffering if warned,
This one for not losing what he won,
This one, because he was never awarded.

Baltasar Gracian, 1601-1658.

7.“EPIGRAM GOES TO THE SAME LADY” by León de Arroyal (1755-1813)
Who is Mary? she is true mother
of Christ God and true Man.
Already greater dignity to know that I do not hope,
nor could it be known either;
So let’s sing with metrical harmony:
Holy Mother of God, Holy Mary.

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