An Overview by Olivia White

Overview/History of Ballad

Ballads first began as types of songs that told a story. It is usually made up of simple words and a rhyme. The Ballads could relate to hard and good times in current and in history. Ballads have in-depth imagery that brings the audience into the story told through the poem. Ballads back then and ballads now both do the same effect of having a rhyming poem, beat, & a story/history events told through it.

Characteristics of a Ballad

Ballad has quite a few characteristics. One of the characteristics is Dialogue. Ballad often contains dialogue between two characters to create the story. Another characteristic of Ballad would be Repetition. Ballads sometimes have this to divide up sections of the story, and sometimes is can be used to make more effect. The 3rd characteristic is third person objective narration. This is where they don't speak in first person and do not comment on their reactions to the emotional content of the ballad. Another two characteristics are Ballad stanzas, and simple language. The simple language is used for the audience, so they can hear it and not need it repeated. The Ballad stanzas usually have four lines, and the second and fourth rhyme. (but not all Ballads do) There are a lot of characteristics to identify a Ballad, but all of them play a important role.

Example of a Ballad

^^"The Broken-legg'd Man" by John Mackey Shaw ^^(website i got it from)

"I saw the other day when I went shopping in the store

A man I hadn't ever, ever seen in there before,

A man whose leg was broken and who leaned upon a crutch-

I asked him very kindly if it hurt him very much.

"Not at all!" said the broken-legg'd man.

I ran around behind him for I thought that I would see

The broken leg all bandaged up and bent back at the knee;

But I didn't see the leg at all, there wasn't any there,

So I asked him very kindly if he had it hid somewhere.

"Not at all!" said the broken-legg'd man.

"Then where," I asked him, "is it? Did a tiger bite it off?

Or did you get your foot wet when you had a nasty cough?

Did someone jump down on your leg when it was very new?

Or did you simply cut it off because you wanted to?"

"Not at all!" said the broken-legg'd man.

"What was it then?" I asked him, and this is what he said:

"I crossed a busy crossing when the traffic light was red;

A big black car came whizzing by and knocked me off my feet."

"Of course you looked both ways," I said, "before you crossed the street."

"Not at all!" said the broken-legg'd man.

"They rushed me to the hospital right quickly, "he went on,

"And when I woke in nice white sheets I saw my leg was gone;

That's why you see me walking now on nothing but a crutch."

"I'm glad," said I, "you told me, and I thank you very much!"

"Not at all!" said the broken-legg'd man."

Purpose of a Ballad

The purpose of a Ballad is to tell a story. The story includes the plot, characters, dialogue, setting, drama, narrator, and more. Ballads are written to tell tales, historical events, or just a simple story. This can apply to ones knowledge & enjoyment.

Works Cited

"History of the Ballad." Poetryroad. N.p., 8 July 2011. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

Simpson, Erik. "Connections: Poetry: Forms: The Ballad." Connections: Poetry: Forms: The Ballad. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

Sweeney, Erica. "About Ballads." EHow. Demand Media, 29 Jan. 2009. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

"Poetry for Children." Poetry for Children. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

"A Narrative Poem: "The Broken-Legg'd Man" by John Mackey Shaw."Study of LIterature. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.