Andrew Lang, Ballad of a Worldly Wealth Explication

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In the poem Ballad of a Worldly Wealth, Andrew Lang shares his opinion of wealth and what people use it for. It can be either useful, or just corrupt you. “Money maketh evil show” he says, meaning that if you use it in the wrong way it can show your evil side. It brings you worldly things, but it can’t bring you everything. Such as family, friends, or love. All it can give, it physical things that you won’t be able to take with you when you leave this world.

He uses a lot of repetition to make the idea clear of what he means, and his belief of money. I feel like the meaning goes deeper than that also. You can either be rich in heart and be happy or you can be rich with physical things and fall into greed and darkness. In the poem he says, “Money maketh sin as snow.” I interpret this as him saying money can make everything right in some people’s eyes. Lang could have possibly got his idea from a book in the bible, 1 Timothy verse 6. “For money is the root of all evil.”

He uses a lot of words that help to set his tone, and the emotion in the poem. The words he uses have a lot of the same sounds such as maketh, taketh, youth & truth. I found that many of the words in the poem were hard to understand because we do not talk in this form of language anymore. An example of these words would be “while the tides shall ebb and flow.”
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