Ballad

from http://literarydevices.net/ballad/

Distinguishing Features of Ballads


Ballads, no matter which category they fall in, mostly rely on simple and easy-to-understand language or dialect from its origin. Stories about hardships, tragedies, love and romance are standard ingredients of ballads. This is irrespective of geographical origins.

Another conspicuous element of any ballad is the recurrence of certain lines at regular intervals. Ballads can also be in interrogative form with appropriate answers to every question they ask.

Ballads seldom offer a direct message about a certain event, character or situation. It is left to the audience to deduce the moral of the story from the whole narration.


Example #5

“The Ballad of Billy the Kid” is an example of a modern ballad.

‘From a town known Wheeling, West Virginia
Rode a boy with six gun in his hands
And his daring life crime
Made him a legend in his time
East and west of Rio Grande’




Functions of Ballad

Ballads, as stage performance, enjoyed the status of being one of the main sources of entertainment in ancient times. Legends and historical events were narrated in the form of a ballad which would comprise song and dance.

Ballad was a perfect substitute for our current day technology-based entertainment, albeit with more emotional appeal. In the 18th century, the ballad based stage entertainment came to be known as Ballad Opera. According to ballad aficionados, the first formal Ballad opera was staged in the first half of 18thcentury with the theme of “the Beggars Opera”.







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