Lady Mary Wortley Montague's The Lover: A Ballad Essay

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Lady Mary Wortley Montague's The Lover: A Ballad

Literature is a form of art with many facets, many obvious and others subtle. The surface of literature can be composed of many elements such as genre, form, rhythm, tone, diction, sentence structure, etc. Time periods, authors’ personal style and type of work all determine what elements are used in the literature. The deeper more subtle side of literature is the use of symbolism, imagery and the significance of the work. In most works of literature, parallels can be drawn between the author’s personality and current life’s events through the subject matter, the characters, and the use of specific literary techniques. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s use of literary techniques in the
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The ballad commonly uses simple language and can be in the form of 3rd person, dialogue or a combination of the two. The ballad form generally shortens action in that it focus’ on a single, usually, climactic event and eludes to the building and conclusion of this event. Coincidentally, the rural roots of ballads parallel the themes that generally deal with basic aspects of life, such as; love and death, but seem to have a supernatural element. “The quatrain, a stanza of four lines, rhymed or unrhymed, is the most common of all English stanzaic forms. And the most common type of quatrain is the ballad stanza, in which lines of iambic tetrameter alternate with trimeter, rhyming abcb (lines 1 and 3 being unrhymed) or, less commonly abab” (Fergueson, 1114). Montagu uses many of these elements in that she stays remains consistent with the theme of ballads and writes about love. The supernatural aspect to her ballad is not necessarily supernatural, but in fact leans to Greek mythology. Her conclusion ends with reference to Ovid alluding to The Metamorphoses’ which “...tells stories of virgins who are transformed into a laurel tree (Daphne) or a fountain (Arethusa), rather than succumb to the importunities of a pursuing god” (Footnote to The Lover: A Ballad, Damrosch, 2568). Greek mythology can be categorized as supernatural though, depending on the audiences’ beliefs, in that it’s main
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