Epithet - in Greek, "attach", "add". It can be a single word, a combination of them, or an entire expression. The answer to the question of what an epithet is in literature is on the surface. This word is used to give colorful saturation or an additional semantic hue to phrases and sentences. It is often used in poetry, because the poetic form of expression requires grace. However, prose writers often use the epithet as a reliable tool for giving their works an artistic appeal. In most cases, it is used in the form of an adjective or adverb. The organic combination of epithets with surrounding words can turn a simple narrative into a work of literary art.
Epithets can be direct and indirect. "Slender birch" - here the epithet is not present. If you say "stately birch", it already exists. Why? In the first case, the adjective "slender" is not surprising, usual. The tree is straight and slender. But the phrase "birch statue" introduces the definition of the character of a noble plant. We represent pride as a feature of his character. Hence the stately posture, hence the "stately birch". The tree became animated, and we are already ready to talk with him, talk. And this magic happened because the epithet was applied. Examples from the literature which can be continued. If it says "a murmuring stream," there is no epithet, "a sobbing stream" - it is evident. "Pink Dawn" - without the signs of the epithet, "the flaming dawn" - it is. "The Golden Woman" is a woman with a remarkable character, he is again present.
There is an expression "... and led under the white little hands ..."It is clear that the little hands are not white, most likely they were the rough hands of the bully, led by the guards of order." However, the immutable imagery of the narrative depicts a virtuous picture of an almost sacred action.The main purpose of this word is to decorate, ennoble, enchant, that such an epithet is in literature, it is understandable.It gives birth to a literary masterpiece.