Analysis Of The Poem By Edgar Allan Poe "Bridal Ballad"

1271 words - 5 pages

Bridal Ballad is a poem by Edgar Allan Poe that focuses on the themes of marriage, love, loss and a desire for happiness. It also concentrates on the symbolism of a wedding ring as finality as well as the despair and hopelessness that comes with it. The poem demonstrates that no matter how powerful and legally binding a marriage is it cannot change who your heart beats for. Bridal Ballad was first composed and published simply as "Ballad" in the 1837 January edition of the Southern Literary Messenger. It was later re-titled as "Bridal Ballad" when it was printed in the 31st of July edition of the Saturday Evening Post in 1841. The stanzas, as well as rhyming and other techniques, construct a natural flow and rhythm for the poem and emphasise the bride's emotional distress. The poem is one of the few works by Edgar Allan Poe to be written in the perspective of a woman, specifically a recently married bride who has lost her true love.Marriage is one of the main themes in the Bridal Ballad. To be fair, the whole poem is about marriage and the emotions a particular bride goes through, throughout her wedding day. She is marrying a wealthy lord who can give her "satin and jewels" and she is content, but not really happy. The marriage feels forced, or arranged, like as if the bride did not have much choice in the matter. She had to accept, for he was wealthy and could give her and her family a luxurious and easy lifestyle, all she had to do was say 'yes' and in doing so, forget the one she loved.Love also makes an appearance in the poem. It becomes known that the bride had a previous lover, who had died in battle. She remembers him on her wedding day and when her groom "breathed his vow" she thought the voice sounded like "his who fell / In…battle". For one bizarre and gut-wrenching moment, the bride imagines that she is marrying her lover and that he "is happy now". Unfortunately, reality sets in and she comes to terms with the truth: her loved one is dead and is not coming back.Loss is another theme that is presented in the Bridal Ballad. The Bride is heartbroken for she cannot be with her beloved and is about to belong to someone else. The Bride loses her dreams and hopes and is forced into reality. She feels as though her "faith [must] be broken" and her "heart [must] be broken" for she feels so dejected and miserable that she cannot be with the one she loves. Thus she can never be truly "happy".The quest for happiness is probably one of the more depressing themes throughout the poem. The bride wants more than anything to match God's powers and bring back her lover from the dead, but she knows it's a hopeless dream. (Would God I could awaken! / For I dream I know not how!) She wants the groom to be dead and is "thinking [of] him dead" happily on her wedding day as his death means she could continue to be faithful to her beloved and live a moderately happy life without guilt and without a husband. She fears "an evil step be taken" for she has...

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