Matthew Prior, The Viceroy, A Ballad

Pat Rogers (University of South Florida)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error

Editors have remarked of The Viceroy that, ‘Of all his ballads, this is closest to the street-ballads in style’ (Wright and Spears, 2: 941). Since there are a number of poems in that category showing Prior’s mastery of the form, this is high praise. He claimed to tell the story ‘In low, but faithful rimes’ (24), a phrase that expresses the colloquial ease, use of homebred puns and proverbs, and comic archaisms that are strategically placed throughout the text. Equally, this is the most savage and uncompromising of all his poetic works, which number over three hundred (disregarding items in Latin). Even in age of plainspoken satire, The Viceroy stands out for its vicious particularity a…

1290 words

Citation: Rogers, Pat. "The Viceroy, A Ballad". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 October 2020 [, accessed 28 May 2023.]

39386 The Viceroy, A Ballad 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.