The Ballad of Reading Gaol

References in other media

  • During the climax of D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, as The Boy is being led toward the gallows, one of the title-cards quotes the following excerpt:

So with curious eyes and sick surmise We watched him day by day, And wondered if each one of us Would end the self-same way, For none can tell to what red Hell His sightless soul may stray.

  • In a 1962 episode of The Virginian entitled "The Brazen Bell", a timid schoolteacher (George C. Scott) recites "The Ballad Of Reading Gaol" in order to distract a convicted wife-killer who is holding him and a group of schoolchildren hostage (the series was set in approximately the same year as the first publication of the poem).
  • In Vladimir Mayakovsky's long poem About This (Russian: Про это), there is a section entitled "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" (Баллада Редингской тюрьмы).
  • In A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, while discussing the experimental aversion therapy administered to the narrator Alex, Dr Branom says, "Each man kills the thing he loves, as the poet-prisoner said".

"The Ballad of Reading Gaol" is also referenced and quoted in Eugene O'Neil's, Ah, Wilderness!, and referenced in Act IV of "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

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