There can be no exact definition of ballads; they are poems of varied length from as short as 16 verses to even 1366. Most often they are expressed through an oral media and narrated musically to accompany dances, portray traditions or historical events. ‘A caza iban, a caza’ is a Novelesque Spanish ballad as it depicts the feelings of honour and justice; a European folklore theme widespread at that time. This ballad paints a story of huntsmen, who overtake a castle called ‘Maynés’ where Rico Franco kidnaps a damsel to take away with him. During the journey she cries because she does not know of her fate. Later on, she asks him for a knife to cut a ribbon from her clothing and uses it to stab the man in the chest. This way she avenges her family and three brothers which he had killed before.
The poem commences with a hunting scene and a reference to a king: this sets a distinctive image of the 16th century with huntsmen and castles; however, in other ballads the hunter is usually alone unlike in this one. Additionally, Germany is another country where hunting ballads are very popular yet there are many other similar poems to this one. Further meaning that this ballad did not originate from Spain itself, but it developed across the European lands. Moreover, the idea of people alternating, editing and improving this poem is what makes a successful old ballad. To show this clear link and how the ballads have been developed across Europe there will be a reference to a German poem. However, they are not identical as that would have been impossible due to the fact that ballads lived on through an oral medium which constantly changed them. Just like any mature ballads both of them have...
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... There is a visible reduplication of “Rico Franco” as he is the protagonist of this folklore ballad and his name produces a melodic feel due to the identical ending sounds this being very popular in Novelesque ballads names.
Concluding, this poem is typical of its genre as it freely fits into a group of Novelesque ballads which illustrate the medieval times, actions and emotions. The five section structure, numerous types of repetition and rhyme create a clear event in the ballad which flows easily till the very end. Most of the medieval ballads use basic language that will be comprehensible for beginners readers and less educated, but also to focus one’s attention to a scene its emotion or anything significant in that language. Through the use all these techniques and previously mentioned they make this medieval ballad typical of its orally-transmitted genre.
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