The Highwayman

Topics: Poetry, Metaphor, Alliteration Pages: 2 (666 words) Published: September 10, 2011
Poetry has been called the best words in the best order. The Highwayman deserves to win the title of “The best words in the best order” because of various compelling messages, themes and an assortment of stimulating language techniques, and vivid descriptions. The Highwayman is a ballad written by Alfred Noyes, a tale of Revenge, betrayal, forbidden love, courage, and moreover selfless sacrifice. It shows that LOVE can overcome any barrier, for example, we know that “The Highwayman” is a common robber and thief, but no matter what kind of person he was, he was loved by “Bess, the landlord’s daughter”, two different people, with different backgrounds and stories, are united by love. There is another example of love in the poem. Tim the ostler’s twisted love, Stanza 4 – 6-7, “But he loved the landlord’s daughter, the landlord’s red lipped daughter.” This also shows that love can make people try the most desperate measures to try and gain it. The highwayman is also a sad example of betrayal. In stanza 5, lines 1-9, it shows Tim, so desperate that he eavesdropped on the conversation between Bess and the Highwayman, and he betrayed him to King George’s men; Stanza 7, lines 9-10 “King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn door.” and continued in Stanza 8 verse 3-4 “they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her bed.” Even in betrayal, love triumphs, stanza 13 v 7-9, “her musket shattered the moonlight, shattered her breast in the moonlight, and warned him- with her death.” Revenge is the last, and the strongest theme. After his beloved’s death, at the hands of the “red coat trooper”, the poem described how he “slowly blanched to hear, how Bess the landlord’s daughter, died in the darkness there. Stanza 14 verses 7-8, 10. Then he returned with a vengeance, “back he spurred like a madman” Stanza 15 verse 1. The attempt at revenge was futile, ending with his death. But the act was courageous, showing that people will do anything for love. In this...
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