Read this article to know what is Ballad in Literature.
What is Ballad in Literature
The word ‘Ballad’ has been derived from French word ‘Ballare’ meaning ‘to dance’. Fundamentally, a ballad is a poem that tells a fairly simple story (narrative). Ballads are often used in songs & have a musical quality in them.
The basic form of the ballad is iambic heptameter (seven sets of unstressed & stressed syllables per line), in sets of four with the second & fourth line rhyming. The rhyme scheme of the ballad is usually abab or aabb.
Characteristics of Ballad
- It is a song that tells a story.
- The beginning is often surprising.
- Its language is simple.
- It concentrates on a single episode.
- The theme is often tragic & sad.
- The story is told through dialogue & action.
- It lacks specific detail.
- It has a surprising ending.
- It includes some sort of repeated lines.
- It has rarely moral.
- It has 4-line stanzas, first & third lines have four stresses & fourth line has three stresses.
- It has an orientation, complication & resolution.
- It can have a question & answer format. One stanza presents the question & the next stanza answers the question.
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Language in Ballad
- It includes language that focuses on actions & dialogues.
- It includes language that indirectly conveys information about the characters, relationships.
- It is often written in third or first person.
- It usually has a rhyming pattern of abac, aabb, abbc.
- It has a regular beat structure.
- It is often written in complete sentences.
- It includes language that conveys a particular mood.
Types of Ballad
- Folk Ballads:- Folk ballads were originally composed by anonymous singers & were passed down orally from generation to generation before they were written down. The English Folk Ballads we read today took their present form probably in the 15th century.
- Literary Ballads:- Literary ballads are composed & written down by known poets usually in the style of folk ballads. Example of Ballad