Odyssey: Book 1 VS. The Highwayman

Big image

(Excerpt)


  1. So saying she bound on her glittering golden sandals,
  2. imperishable, with which she can fly like the wind over land or sea;
  3. she grasped the redoubtable bronze-shod spear, so stout and sturdy and
  4. strong, wherewith she quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased
  5. her, and down she darted from the topmost summits of Olympus,
  6. whereon forthwith she was in Ithaca, at the gateway of Ulysses' house,
  7. disguised as a visitor, Mentes, chief of the Taphians, and she held
  8. a bronze spear in her hand. There she found the lordly suitors
  9. seated on hides of the oxen which they had killed and eaten, and
  10. playing draughts in front of the house. Men-servants and pages were
  11. bustling about to wait upon them, some mixing wine with water in the
  12. mixing-bowls, some cleaning down the tables with wet sponges and
  13. laying them out again, and some cutting up great quantities of meat.
  14. Telemachus saw her long before any one else did. He was sitting
  15. moodily among the suitors thinking about his brave father, and how
  16. he would send them flying out of the house, if he were to come to
  17. his own again and be honored as in days gone by. Thus brooding as
  18. he sat among them, he caught sight of Minerva and went straight to the
  19. gate, for he was vexed that a stranger should be kept waiting for
  20. admittance. He took her right hand in his own, and bade her give him
  21. her spear. "Welcome," said he, "to our house, and when you have
22.partaken of food you shall tell us what you have come for."

(I did my best to number an epic)

Big image

(Excerpt)


  1. THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
    The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
    The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
    And the highwayman came riding—
    Riding—riding—
    The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

    II

    He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
    A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
    They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
    And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
    His pistol butts a-twinkle,
    His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

    III

    Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
    And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
    He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
    But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
    Bess, the landlord's daughter,
    Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

    IV

    And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
    Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
    His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
    But he loved the landlord's daughter,
    The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
    Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

    V

    'One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
    But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
    Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
    Then look for me by moonlight,
    Watch for me by moonlight,
    I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way'

Analysis (The Odyssey)

Figurative language (The Odyssey)

  • So saying she bound on her glittering golden sandals (Imagery),
    1. imperishable, with which she can fly like the wind (simile) over land or sea;
    2. she grasped the redoubtable bronze-shod spear, so stout and sturdy and
    3. strong, wherewith she quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased
    4. her, and down she darted from the topmost summits of Olympus (Imagery),
    5. whereon forthwith she was in Ithaca, at the gateway of Ulysses' house,
    6. disguised as a visitor, Mentes, chief of the Taphians, and she held
    7. a bronze spear in her hand. There she found the lordly suitors
    8. seated on hides of the oxen which they had killed and eaten, and
    9. playing droughts in front of the house. Men-servants and pages were
    10. bustling about to wait upon them, some mixing wine with water in the
    11. mixing-bowls, some cleaning down the tables with wet sponges and
    12. laying them out again, and some cutting up great quantities of meat.
    13. Telemachus saw her long before any one else did. He was sitting
    14. moodily among the suitors thinking about his brave father, and how
    15. he would send them flying out of the house (Idiom), if he were to come to
    16. his own again and be honored as in days gone by. Thus brooding as
    17. he sat among them, he caught sight of Minerva and went straight to the
    18. gate, for he was vexed that a stranger should be kept waiting for
    19. admittance. He took her right hand in his own, and bade her give him
    20.her spear. "Welcome," said he, 21."to our house, and when you have 22.partaken of food you shall tell us what you have come for.


    While it lacks many poetic devices used in common poetry such as a rhyme scheme, this epic includes many great examples of imagery and uses very vivid language. This abundance of vivid language is most likely caused by the time at which it was written.

    Analysis (The Highwayman)

    THE wind was a torrent of darkness (metaphor) among the gusty trees,
    The moon was a ghostly galleon (metaphor) tossed upon cloudy seas,
    The road was a ribbon of moonlight (metaphor) over the purple moor,
    And the highwayman came riding—
    Riding—riding—
    The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

    II

    He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
    A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
    They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
    And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
    His pistol butts a-twinkle,
    His rapier hilt a-twinkle
    (repetition), under the jewelled sky.

    III

    Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed ( alliteration) in the dark inn-yard,
    And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
    He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
    But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
    Bess, the landlord's daughter
    (repetition),
    Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

    IV

    And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
    Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
    His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
    But he loved the landlord's daughter,
    The landlord's red-lipped daughter
    (repetition),
    Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

    V

    'One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
    But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
    Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
    Then look for me by moonlight,
    Watch for me by moonlight,
    I'll come to thee by moonlight
    (repetition), though hell should bar the way'

    Theme

    The theme of The Odyssey, although written like it, is nothing like the theme of The Highwayman. While the theme takes a more adventurous tone in The Odyssey the theme of The Highwayman is mysterious with an undertone of love. The writing style of Epic and Ballad, though, are very similar.