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The Lover: A Ballad

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by

Clarice Baker

on 5 January 2015

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Transcript of The Lover: A Ballad

Context
Form
Structure
Language
Other Interpretations
Prose
Drama
Wider Reading
Poetry
The Lover: A Ballad
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


Rhyme scheme: AA,BB,CC etc.
"(but where shall I find
Good sense and good nature so equally join'd?)"
Irregular, between 9 and 12 syllables, indecisive
Conflicted ideas about love therefore conflicting ideas about what poetic rules to follow
6 Stanzas, each with 2 quatrains
Line length is regular and well structured
Ballad: form of verse, often set to music ("ballade" french for dancing songs, couple moving together)
To His Coy Mistress
"That long-preserved virginity,And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;The grave’s a fine and private place"
Compared with...
"I am not as cold as a virgin in lead,"
Pride and Prejudice
Summary:
Montagu explains how she feels about society's rules on romance and couples
In the first three stanzas she describes couples that she has personally been in
In the second three she describes her ideal husband, a mix of lover and friend
After Cromwell's oppressive era, women now had much more freedom within society.
However there were still risks, Montagu references Roman poet Ovid something that was not allowed for women as it was seen to be "above their intelligence"
In Alexander Pope's poem, Sandy's ghost, he challenges women to try and translate Ovid even nearly naming Lady Wortley Montagu.
Ye Ladies too draw forth your Pen,
I pray where can the Hurt lie?
Since you have Brains as well as Men,
As witness Lady W--tl-y.
In terms of the structure of the poem in two halves, it has been suggested that Montagu is refuting the ideas presented by poets such as John Donne in "The Flea" and Andrew Marell in "To his Coy Mistress"
Beatrice and Benedick's exchanges of wit
compared with...
"That we live but few years and yet fewer are young."

"I know you of old"

"But when the long hours of public are past, And we meet with the champagne and a chicken at last"

"And as Ovid has sweetly in parable told, We harden like trees, and like rivers grow old."

"Nor is Sunday's sermon so strong in my head" (sibilance)
Elizabeth and Mr Darcy must forget their proud nature in order to realise their love for one another.
Compared with...
"He may cease to be formal, and I to be proud."
Full transcript