Does the Ballad 'Sir Patrick Spens" Contain a Message about Different Kinds of Power?
Ballads, for decades, have been significant forms of poetry that tell a story about crucial aspects of the society such as leadership and culture. Among the distinguishing features of ballads include alternating of beats, usually three and four. Sir Patrick Spens ballad demonstrates these features as a traditional ballad. As a ballad, the poem was originally written to be sung, and has become anonymous owing to the loss of facts regarding the author over time. Just as other ballads that often express tragic themes, Sir Patrick Spens also expresses two main themes. The first theme is mortality; in which it expresses the sad reality that when one must die later after birth. In addition, it also expresses a related theme involving the purpose of fate in determining people’s lives.
Power is among the most explored themes in the ballad, with two main dimensions coming out. Power refers to the state of authority over a given space, usually one that puts an individual in charge of others. The ballad explores two kinds of power, including political power, and the natural power of fate. The ballad offers various insights into the characteristics of power, as well as the relationship between human beings and each type of power. While members of the society tend to obey political power, by showing allegiance and loyalty to those holding such powers, it is most often evident that they have no control on the occurrences of natural power such as death as fate.
Loyalty is a primary feature of political power, which the subjects in this society tend to show. Sir Patrick, alongside his crew members are examples of loyalty. Political power seems to be a type of power with its basis and possibility anchored on the behavior of the subjects. Sir Patrick receives an order to move to the sea, and despite his knowledge of the dangers involved in sailing at the time of the royal order, he obeys and acts according to the order.
Similarly, the crew members also seem to obey and act according to the orders by Sir Patrick. The power in this dimension is based on the ability of the subjects to obey and act in accordance with orders given from those in authority. The ballad portrays this type of power as one, through which one can influence the results of a course.
In addition to the political power, the ballad also portrays the natural power of fate, through the theme of loss and suffering. One of the scenes through which the theme of loss and suffering appear is tragic circumstances under which the destruction of the ship occurred, as well as the loss of those on board. In this case, there is an emerging sense of universality in the manner in which the effects of natural forces of fate affect the human race.
As a wrap up, it is evident that the ballad 'Sir Patrick Spens" contains a message about different kinds of power. It gives the significant differences between human or political power associated with one’s position, and the natural power of fate. While human beings tend to have absolute control over the cause and effects of human power associated with authority, they lack absolute control over the cause and effects of the natural power of fate such as death.