How is the ballad "Sir Patrick Spens" a ballad?Make sure you explain why this is a ballad.

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sfwriter eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have written a response on "Sir Patrick Spens" which summarizes the poem and also discusses the ballad form.  Click on the link below to read the answer.  The last paragraph focuses on the poetic form.

Ballads almost always tell a folk-tale (or sometimes fairy-tale or supernatural story) -type story, which often (but not always) is tragic.  In the majority of cases ballads were meant to be sung, so there is a definitely regular, rhythmic, song-like quality to them.  Also, most ballads have repeated lines, usually at the ends of stanzas.  "Sir Patrick Spens" has all of these features.