The Ballad Of The White Horse Analysis

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The Ballad of the White Horse The Ballad of the White Horse, written by G.K. Chesterton, is a narration of the struggles and resolve of Alfred the Great, whose kingdom of Wessex, England had become overrun with pagans of the sea, the Danes. After suffering several defeats at the hands of the Danes, Alfred’s closest chiefs, Eldred, Mark, and Colan became exhausted and returned to their own homes, while Alfred despaired on the island of Athelney. However, Mary took this opportunity to give Alfred the task of reclaiming his kingdom, though she did not promise any sort of victory. Although he and his army would have to find within themselves faith without a hope and joy without a cause, Mary’s appearance gave Alfred’s army ample reason…show more content…
The first of Alfred’s chiefs was Eldred, a Franklin by the sea who had been a valuable and mighty warrior in battle. However, his friends in battle had been killed, “broken about Ethelred,” and, after turning to alcohol to cope with his loss, Eldred had retired. Thus, Eldred began to detest even the idea of war as an unnecessary event of bloodshed for the common man. In spite of this, Alfred relayed Mary’s message, that the sky darkened and the sea rose higher. At this moment, Eldred found within himself the resolve to fight and unhooked his sword from high upon the wall. The second of Aldred’s chiefs was Mark, a man from Italy whom was an efficient, orderly commander. After receiving Mary’s message, Mark looked longingly at his vineyard and offered the king passive strategic advice. Although Mark was heavily attached to his farm, Alfred knew perceived that Mark’s strong sense of duty would lead him. The third and final of Alfred’s chieftains was Colan of the Sacred Tree, a man who dwelled in a cave the far-south land of Caerleon. Wary to fight for his cause, Colan questioned Alfred, asking him why he had not admitted defeat to the Danes and died with honor. However, Alfred convinced Colan saying that he sought victory not for selfish reasons, but because Mary had instilled in him a cause. Since…show more content…
When he failed to drive the Danes from Wessex and was exiled to an island, Alfred’s hope was restored by the Blessed Mother. In the time that followed, Alfred set out to gather his chieftains who too had reasons they did not desire war, but who were persuaded by Mary’s news. During the key moments in battle with the Danes, Mary made an appearance once again, encouraging Alfred to victory. The war between Wessex men and Pagan Danes thus ended in the Favor of the
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