Fable is a literary device that can be defined as a concise and brief story intended to provide a moral lesson at the end. In literature, it is described as a didactic lesson given through some sort of animal story. In prose and verse, a fable is described through plants, animals, forces, of nature, and inanimate objects by giving them human attributes wherein they demonstrate a moral lesson at the end.
Features of a Fable
Ballads, no matter which category they fall into, mostly rely on simple and easy-to-understand language, or dialect from its origin. Stories about hardships, tragedies, love, and romance are standard ingredients of the ballad. This is irrespective of geographical origins.
Another conspicuous element of any ballad is the recurrence of certain lines at regular intervals. Ballads can also be in interrogative form, with appropriate answers to every question asked. Ballads seldom offer a direct message about a certain event, character, or situation. It is left to the audience to deduce the moral of the story from the whole narration.
Medieval literature includes several examples of courtly love. Sir Lancelot expresses this kind of love for Lady Guinevere in Arthurian legend, though he breaks the rules and takes Guinevere for his own.
In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Knight's Tale, this type of love is depicted.
Many poets also dedicated their writing to noble ladies in acts of courtly love, such as Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, which he dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I. The poem depicts the Redcrosse knight's courtly love for the Lady Una. He protects her and professes to love her, while always behaving with the most chivalrous propriety.
There was a housewife come from Bath, or near,
Who—sad to say—was deaf in either ear.
At making cloth she had so great a bent
She bettered those of Ypres and even of Ghent.
Her kerchiefs were of finest weave and ground;(5)
I dare swear that they weighed a full ten pound
Which, of a Sunday, she wore on her head.
Her hose were of the choicest scarlet red,
Close gartered, and her shoes were soft and new.
Bold was her face, and fair, and red of hue.(10)
She’d been respectable throughout her life,
With five churched husbands bringing joy and strife,
Not counting other company in youth;
But thereof there’s no need to speak, in truth.
Three times she’d journeyed to Jerusalem;(15)
And many a foreign stream she’d had to stem;
At Rome she’d been, and she’d been in Boulogne,
In Spain at Santiago, and at Cologne.