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ballad poetry

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Introduction

English Ballad Poetry Essay Ballads are old poems or songs, which narrate stories. It is a rhythmic tale of a past affair, which may be heroic, romantic or ironic, almost inevitably catastrophic. We do not know where the word 'Ballad' originated from, however it is thought to come from the French 'Ballade'; which means song with a dance. Ballads are simple repeating rhymes, which often have a refrain, and they have been existent as far back as the 14th Century. They were written to be sung, as a majority of people were illiterate. Alternatively Ballads were written to be catchy and memorable; as minstrels went around singing them. Due to them being attractive, people who heard them kept them in mind. Due to this Ballads have been passed down through generations, and some are still around today. Modern day Ballad writers/singers use different techniques and skill. This could maybe be why they're more popular and successful. Some lucrative modern day balladeers consist of Robbie Williams and Alicia keys; these are very well known names in the music industry. The reason of thrive that they write more complex ballads, and they are longer; also they use more rhyme scheme. Typical Ballads include quatrains, rhyming couplets, repetition, chorus, social and historical context, themes, language of the time and sometimes a moralistic story. The language of the time is important as it shows us how they used to speak, and how it is different from modern time writing. Also the types of themes that Ballads include are hatred, love, murder, death and cruelty. ...read more.

Middle

The speaker soon realized that Porphyria will eventually give in to the society's pressure, and he wants to keep her love to him forever. As a result of his possession the speaker strangles Porphyria to death, and then he sits with the corpse for the entire night. At the end he mentioned that he thinks God has not yet moved to punish him The social relevance of this poem is that people had affairs so this gives us the impression that this poem was not set long ago; maybe it was set in the 19th century. At the beginning of the poem pathetic Fallacy is used; to set the mood of the writing, "The rain set early in to-night, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite," This quatrain sets a negative scene and lets the reader know something is not right. This causes a lot of tension and it gives the impression something bad is going to happen. Also in the poem personification is used to create a negative atmosphere. The next line is the point where very cleverly, the poet manages to change the focus of attention of the reader to the lover without losing any of the effect that the imagery created so far: "I listened with heart fit to break." This line shows that the lover was waiting desperately and has reached a certain degree of impatience when his beloved enters the sordid cottage. The room where the lover is waiting also signifies a certain level of sorrow that is caused throughout the poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last section reminds the reader that no one will remember the knight now that he is gone, and also emphasizes that nature and living will not change with the death of one person. In the end, however, the ravens reveal that relationships that are significant, but the understanding that life is an unending cycle and an important part is death. The themes of this ballad are betrayal, selfishness and hopelessness, sadness, death and life. In conclusion all the poems I chose had similar themes, but one definite one was sadness. The first poem 'ballad' was one I enjoyed very much. This was because there was a meaning behind each stanza and it seemed like there was true emotions behind the words. Also AA BB rhyme scheme was used which I found very and enjoyable to read. Also many poetic devices have been used which makes the poem more interesting and plays on the readers emotions and creates dramatic irony. The second poem 'Porphyria's Lover' I thought was ok as the storyline was very dramatic and kept me interested. However the language was very complex and the storyline was a little confusing. Apart from that I enjoyed learning to use the poetical devices and seeing how they were used. Finally the last poem 'Twa Corbies' I did not enjoy very much. This was because I did not find anything outstanding about it. Also as it is written in Scottish I found many words hard to understand. The one thing I did enjoy about it was when I heard it in audio as I thought it was very memorable. Lastly there are hardly any poetic devices so the ballad is not that effective or appealing. ...read more.

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