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Different literary works come in different styles and all exhibit uniquely different structures and formats. One major kind of such work is the common Oral Narratives. Another one is poetry, which is also a genre of literature done according to some laid down procedures and guidelines. Essentially, it has its own distinctive features and characteristics that set it apart from the other works of literature.
The three ballads “The Daemon lover (the house carpenter)”, “Sir Patrick Spens” and “The Three Ravens” are just a set of one of the many other different members in the family of poems. That is to say that there are other types of poems which include: acrostic poems, alphabet poems, autobiographical poems, cinquain poems, third eye poems and even color poems.
Ballads are those poems that are used to retell some historical events or stories. Therefore, by referring to the three poems as ballads gives us one clear similarity that is exhibited by the three of them. Simply put, the three poems are reminders, or first-time informers of things that occurred at some moment in the past.
To begin with, “The Daemon lover (the house carpenter)” revolves around a man and a woman who forwent what they had previously acquired to start on a new life. The man confesses to the apple of his eye of having just forfeited the opportunity of getting the hand of the king’s daughter just because he wants to marry his favorite. In that scenario, the woman similarly admits of being married to another man, the House Carpenter with whom they have a baby child. However, they end up together after promises of greener pastures for the woman with his newly found bridegroom and off they go. Unfortunately, things do not go as anticipated and they end up in agony that result in their demise.
In “Sir Patrick Spens”, Sir Patrick Spens is a highly regarded sailor who is a hugely dependable person to his master. His capabilities and prowess are great impressions in the eyes of his to the extent that even under life-threatening conditions in the sea, the master has confidence and belief that Sir Patrick Spens can make it. In consequence, Sir Spens finds himself in the dilemma of what to do as he is expected to run his errands despite the storms in the raging waters of the sea. He is filled with agony and bitterness that no one can handle!
With “The Three Ravens”, there is a slain knight on the ground (in the green fields). He is surrounded by hounds and nothing can get near him. His woman comes and picks him up so that she could find a way of giving him the normal, respectful send off by the lake. However, she ends up dead as well!
From the theme of the three poems, it is vivid that these are epic stories that take the form of poems. Historical events that took place in the past are being told through the poems and not the normal narratives as may be normally expected by anyone. This is something that in the first instance relates these three ballads very closely.
Also, it is worth noting that despite the many similarities, we can see that the three poems stand out on their own as individual entities. The only things that make them alike are a few similar styles that are employed in the attainment of the artistic work by the different poets who came up with the final compilations and the fulfillment of their thematic requirements.
It is also important to note that the different works, though with different styles and structures, are brought close to one another by the mere fact that they talk about different stories that elicit more or less the same emotions. That is they are modeled in similar contexts of bad endings characterized by deaths of different individuals.
Besides, the ballads take the form of narratives in the way they are presented so that one takes them as a story and not just as a poem. Despite the presence of other poetic features, the use of narration style helps make the ballads sound real and more relevant to the audience.
Essentially, these three ballads are uniformly characterized by features of rhyme, alliteration, consonance, language use and a bit of their structure. However, they also differ in some other aspects of style, message being conveyed as well as the presentation mode of the different stories.
Apparently, repetition has manifested itself in almost each aspect of the three ballads. For instance, the beginning of the poem “The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter)” is a clear representation of repetition as shown in the first stanza on page five, lines: Well met, well met, my own true love/ Well met, well met, cried he; and the first line of the sixth stanza on the same page: Six ships, six ships all out on the sea.
In the poem “Sir Patrick Spens ", the style of repetition appears significantly again. An example is the use of ‘Sir Patrick Spens’ is prominent throughout the entire ballad. Besides, the word ‘down’ has also been repeated severally in the different lines and stanzas of the ballad "The Three Ravens". For example, in lines: With a down derry, derry, derry down, down/His hounds they lie down at his feet.
Rhyme, which consists of identical or similar sounds placed at the ends of lines or at some locations within lines, has been used to a large extent in the first ballad. The examples of rhyme in this ballad include land/command in the sixth stanza (second and fourth lines) and behold/gold in the eighth stanza second and fourth lines).
In “The Three Ravens”, rhyme is seen in the fourth stanza in the first and second lines (field/shield). It is also observed in the first and second line of the seventh stanza (doe/go) on page three.
Similarly, there is use of rhyme in the ballad “Sir Patrick Spens”. This is observed in stanza three on page four hundred and fifty seven (hand/sand).
Alliteration is also a feature that can be lifted out of the three ballads. The most outstanding aspect of this style is in the "The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter)" stanza eleven on page six-weep/wee.
Just like the other styles of poetry, alliteration is one that can be observed across all the three ballads. This, with the other aspects of poetry such as consonance, rhyme and use of metaphors are employed to ensure that the poems exhibit their main characteristics and features that distinguish them from other forms of literary works.
Besides, the three ballads generally exhibit Parallelism, where rhetorical structure is evident as shown by successive lines reflecting each other in sound structure, grammatical structure as well as notional content.
The ballad “The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter)” has stanzas each with four lines (this is called a quatrain). This is also the case with "Sir Patrick Spens". However, we see a different style in the ballad “The Three Ravens” which is made up of two-line stanzas (this is a couplet (or distich)) and some other one-line stanzas forming a complete poem.
Inthe “The Three Ravens” and “Sir Patrick Spens”, the story line tends to take a third person narration style in a complete manner. This is not the case in the other ballad, “The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter)”.
However, whereas “The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter)" is more of a conversation than a narration, the other two seem to take a different dimension. While "The Three Ravens" and (The House Carpenter)" are a narration by one individual, the other one is the total opposite as there are two parties involved who take on a conversation within the poem.
Dialectic language use is more prominent in “Sir Patrick Spens” than any other of the three. This comes out vividly through use of words such as ‘whar’ in the third line of the first stanza on page four hundred and fifty six; and ‘wi’ in the second line of the third stanza on page four hundred and fifty seven of the same ballad.
Notably, the three ballads bear similarities through their style of presentation as well as their contexts of stories being put across. Though they may significantly differ in structure and language use, there are many features that bring together through the various aspects of style that have been employed.
The difference among them comes as a result of the different players that are involved and the different ways in which each story is presented to the audience. For instance, there are required to be two actors to play the role of man and woman in the “The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter)” unlike in the “Sir Patrick Spens” and “The Three Ravens” poems in which only one person is required to play the role of narrator.
It is thus vital to keep in mind the simple fact that the style used to come up with any piece of work may make it quite similar to another piece of work by another totally independent person working in the same field and applying the same style as another. In some other cases, use of different styles available to come up with different pieces literary work may make them to appear entirely different even when they bear great resemblances in the functionality and general theme that they carry.
There are some aspects as we have, in which one ballad may relate with one of the other or two or both. There may be other features that it may not share with any other ballad and thus those are the features that make one different from the others. For instance, a feature that distinguishes “The Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter)” is its conversational delivery mode. The “The Three Ravens” is a duplet while “Sir Patrick Spens” is devoid of the two hence that is its uniqueness.