This chapter outlines the ambiguities inherent in the title Wordsworth chose for his and Coleridge's co-authored anthology: 'Lyrical Ballads' (1798). The simplicity of the title belies the contradictory nature of these two concepts: the first a tradition of meditative poetic voice, originating in Classical verse; the second a medieval poetic form used to narrate plebeian, folkloric and supernatural events. The chapter describes the evolution of both of these traditions across the eighteenth century, and concludes by speculating what Wordsworth might have meant by a fusion of the lyrical voice with a balladic form in some of his verses of this collection.
|Title of host publication||The Cambridge Companion to 'Lyrical Ballads'|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2020|