A critical analysis, including important terminology and questions and answers about the poem "The Unquiet Grave"

Essay by pancakemush December 2003

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 37 times

"The Unquiet Grave"

by Anonymous


The lover of a deceased woman mourns for 1 year and a day at his love's grave. After this time period, the man is given the opportunity to talk to the dead woman, and he is taught an important lesson.


oFolk Ballad is a song belonging to the folk music of a people or area, often existing in several versions or with regional variations because it is passed down by word of mouth, not written.

oRhythm is the pattern of beats, or stresses, in spoken or written language.

oLyric poetry is poetry in which writers express their thoughts and feelings about a subject in a brief, but musical way.

oTheme is a central message or insight into life revealed through a literary work.

oSymbol is anything that stands for or represents something else,


"The Unquiet Grave" displays its status of being lyric poetry because the author gives his insight on life and that one must enjoy it and not dwell on lost loves.

Lines 27 and 28 show this where it says, "So make yourself content, my love, till God calls you away." However, this poem is also a folk ballad because it was passed down by word of mouth. This is proven because there are other versions of this poem. However, if it was written down correctly, no extra translations should have resulted. Also, the poem contains a rhythm that seems to alternate between lines. The first and third line of each stanza are stressed, but the second and fourth line always seem more resolved and peaceful. These stresses and resolutions shape how the poem is read aloud, creating a musical effect. Though the most apparent theme of this poem is to enjoy life...