Highwayman Poem Analysis

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When you analyze the highwayman poem, you should look for assonance. Assonance occurs when vowel sounds are repeated in the same line. This is a great technique to create a strong image. Among other things, assonance allows the reader to visualize the words and images in the poem. This technique is particularly useful in poetry, as it enables the reader to identify the author's intent and feel a connection to them.

Onomatopoeia

In the Highwayman poem, a French cocked hat perches on the forehead of the highwayman. His chin is adorned with a clump of lace. His trousers are free of wrinkles, and his eyes are twinkling with importance. The highwayman uses the word "he" three times in the last three lines of the poem, which translates to "he shines with importance."

Onomatopoeia in The Highwayman also uses the words "a" and "e" to describe different things. For example, the road is described as a ribbon of moonlight, and the wind and moon are compared to water, a ship at sea, and a hair to mouldy hay. These are examples of how Onomatopoeia in the Highwayman poem can enhance a piece of literature.

Personification

The highwayman poem employs personification throughout. The highwayman is a human concept, not a real person. The highwayman's death is a personification of death, as it is a concept, not a physical entity. Thus, death is personified in the highwayman poem. The highwayman's death and the roadside capture are both personified. The poem is a powerful example of personification in literature.

The highwayman, who is an elusive figure, is portrayed in a romantic light in the poem. He rode on a horse with a jeweled twinkle, and he wore a French cocked hat, implying a sense of provocativeness. His relationship with Bess is pure romanticism. Like Robin Hood, the highwayman defies authority but is somehow loved for flouting authority. He lives his life on his wits and bravadness.

Synecdoche

The Highwayman is a fine example of synecdoche, a literary device that refers to the substitution of one part for another. The highwayman never contemplates enlisting the help of law enforcement to punish him. The highwayman's world is diametrically opposed to ours, yet it is still charmingly constructed. The Highwayman is an example of a synecdoche, and his stanza is especially romantic and beautiful.

Noyes also uses synecdoche in the poem. He uses "nightfall" and "perfume" to represent the same thing. The moonlight, for example, means nightfall and "sweet smelling hair" means Bess's hair is scented with perfume. Another type of rhetorical device is onomatopoeia, a literary term for sound. In the fifth and sixth stanzas, Noyes uses the sound of horse hooves to describe the night.

Hexameter

"The Highwayman" by Thomas Coleridge is a ballad with a refrain (two to four words), and is written in iambic pentameter and iambic dimeter hexameter. The verses repeat the phrase "in the moonlight" several times. The Highwayman's love interest is killed by a highwayman, but he returns to the same inn to meet his beloved Bess.

The first two lines are in trimeter, the fourth and fifth are in hexameter, and the last two lines are in iambic pentameter. This means that the first two lines are the same, and the fourth and fifth lines are different, but the second and third are the same. The sixth line is hexameter, and contains two trochees, a pyrrhic, and an amphibrach.

Assonance

The Highwayman poem features an extensive use of assonance, with the first line of the poem describing the wind, moon and road. In this section, Noyes uses metaphors to describe each element, comparing the wind to a "torrent of darkness" and the moon to a "ghostly galleon" tossed on the clouds. These images, while not aesthetically pleasing, nonetheless evoke a sense of romance and voyage.

In The Highwayman, assonance occurs three times throughout the poem, including in the last stanza. In the third stanza, the highwayman wears a French cocked-hat and a cluster of lace on his chin. The highwayman is also equated with the moon, and his death disrupts the night. Throughout the poem, the highwayman uses the word "shining" three times, including in the last line.

Repetition

The poet's stanza "The Highwayman" uses repetition in many ways. It uses the same word "twinkle" and "moonlight" 19 times. The highwayman's appearance and weaponry are described with repetition throughout the poem. The highwayman's appearance is described with a twinkle in the eye, and he is described as shining with importance. Repetition in the highwayman poem is used in several different forms, such as assonance and alliteration. The poem also employs repetition in the form of a fast pulsing rhythm.

Repetition in the highwayman poem begins in the first stanza, when the highwayman rides into the inn. The hard "c" and "k" sounds in the first line imitate the sound of horse hooves clomping on the cobblestones. The same "k" and "c" sounds are used in the second stanza, and the same rhyme scheme is used in the third stanza, which offers an excellent example of narrative compression. Repetition in the highwayman poem continues with Bess's braiding of a love knot into her hair.

July 29, 2022
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Literature

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Books Poems

Subject area:

The Highwayman Poetry

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4

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