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Metrical Tale Narrative Poetry

The term "metrical" or "meter" refers to a poem's measured rhythmic arrangement of words. So, a metrical tale is a form of poetry that relates, tells or narrates a story in a measured arrangments of words, or rhythm.

Narrative Poetry involves poetry work that tells a story and has a clear plot and theme. A narrative poem neither conforms to rhythm nor does it have a prescribed length. A metrical tale is a Narrative poem that is composed in verse. It relates to either real or fictional events. It uses straightforward language and relates to a wide range of subjects, characteristics, and experiences, both physical and emotional.

A metrical poem, on the other hand, is longer, but also tells a story in verse. It can either be as short as a short tale or as long as a novel. Some of the most famous and well renowned metrical poems include ‘Evangeline’ composed by Henry Hadsworth Longfellow. Another good example is ‘The Lady of The Lake’’ by Sir Walter Scott and Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales'.

A Metrical Tale is a long and straight-forward story, consisting of a series of related events. A Metrical Tale does not necessarily have to form a plot. Home tales and love stories are good examples of Metrical Tales. Metrical Tales also involve stories of supernatural phenomena or tales bearing a high level of moral tenacity. They are composed in reverse and are usually the length of a short story.

Metrical Romance poetry involves work written in story form, usually with a happy ending. During Renaissance, Metrical Romance poems ideally spoke of chivalrous knights and their adventurous, romantic ways commonly associated with royalty and the upper-class community. Between the year 1490 and 1570, members of the elite royalty loved to come together and enjoy live performances from poets and artists.

Minstrels would travel far and wide, to make Court performances for the Royals and their wealthy associates. The minstrels would earn a living from their work, as their works were very popular then. Romance and happy endings were the most important components of these poems, and from then on, the literature was developed into the modern day Metrical Poetry literacy.

Metrical Tales popularly recount romantic tales and more often than not will tell stories in first person format. Traditionally, Metrical Tales were sung, and the Harp was an important component of the poem’s presentation.

Metrical Tales narrate stories of heroic Knights, highlighting their adventures, trials, and tribulations. Their love interests would write about their out-of-court knights who were away on quests. Often, they would include a romantic ending, which served to be the result and reward of their heroic endeavors. Courtly romance was the most popular theme of Metrical Romance stories.

Different types of metric tales include:

  • Fabliaux- A short story, incorporating comic relief, frankly coarse stories that border on the cynical.
  • Bestiary – Moralizing poetry work involving medieval allegorical work that highlight the traits of real or imaginary animals, or both.
  • Sermons – A religious excerpt presented to the public, often by a member of the clergy, as part of a worship session
  • Courtly Love – a medieval tale, describing the demeanor and innate emotions of women and their love interests

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