In the poem, “Ballad
of Wordly Wealthy,” Andrew Lang tells of the sincerity regarding money and what
it meant to the people living during the 1800’s and 1900’s. Lang utilizes the
idea of repetition to enforce his opinions. He believes that money is a thing
to be appreciated, but some individuals use to for acts of purely immoral acts.
The people within the poem are of the social classes at that particular time
such as priests, captains, merchants, soldiers, etc. The underlying theme
within this piece of text is when people acquire vast amounts of money it
ultimately leads to their destruction due to greed. A prime example would be a
priest who is spreading the word of God for nothing other than money. The
priest should be teaching to aid people with their salvation. To go on,
soldiers should be fighting for their best country because of their strong
emotional ties and devotion to their county, not for the income. A slime few
might have been fighting for their independence, but Lang believes the vast
majority were taking advantage of the money involved. All of the people that
reside within this category are both selfish and filled with greed. This
thought process can be applied to today’s modern society as well due to the US government
buying elaborate cars and mansions without tax dollars. Their interests are prioritized
over the well-being of their citizens.
are several examples of rhetorical patterns that rhyme within the poem sych as “taketh”
and “maketh”, “to throw”, “can strow” and “fro”, “without a blow” and “ebb and
flow.” Lang also incorporates repetition through the use of “These alone can ne’er
bestow, youth, health, and paradise.” This can translate to what the people of
this time hoped that text such as “Money maketh sin as snow”, “These alone can
ne’er bestow”, Like the good, and truth like lies”, “Youth, and health, and
paradise.” Also, the diction used helped to elaborate on this rhetorical
language that creates tone, mood, and emotion.
form of this poem would most likely resemble a ballade with no envoi. It has
three stanzas all having the same rhyme scheme, and a short concluding stanza,
and envoi. This poem lacks the envoi. Each of the four stanzas has identical
final refrain lines. The tone is often formal with symbolism and classical references.
rhetorical patterns used are “Money moves the merchants all” and “Money maketh
Evil show.” Parallel structure is used due to the use of money in the
beginning. There are a lot of similar endings such as taketh, maketh, truth, health,
youth, and gaineth. The world money is also repeated on multiple occasions.
This is due to the theme of money and how it affects people in either a beneficial
or negative way. There is a lot of explication to elaborate on the message of
how money can consume someone.