The Highwayman Highlights

By: Olivia, Emmerson, Zachary, and Josh

The Highwayman Poem Summary

On a dark, creepy night, the Highwayman (A bandit or robber) came riding up to the old Inn. The Highwayman rode up dressed in velvet and lace with a pistol and a rapier at his hip. The Highwayman rides to the Window of the Inn and whistles out for his lover/girlfriend, Bess the Landlord’s daughter. Before the highwayman rides out again he kisses Bess's hair and tells her he’ll be back by moonlight. Unfortunately for the highwayman and Bess, Tim the ostler is listening in. And, like the Highwayman, has a strong affinity for Bess. After the highwayman leaves for the night and the moonlight is fast approaching, a red-coat troop came marching up to the old Inn where Bess is. You could infer that have been called in by Tim the ostler to get rid of (kill) the highwayman. The red-coat troop bound Bess to the foot of her narrow bed and gagged her. They then bounded a musket's barrel beneath her breast. She twisted her bound hands but the ropes held good, she then writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood. Then she finally reached the trigger after what felt like years and was able to put the tip of one finger on the trigger. She then heard the Tlot-Tlot of the highwayman's horse, and not long after, she saw the Highwayman come riding over the brow of the hill. Then Bess pulled the trigger breaking the silence of the night. The bullet killed her in an instant and in turn, it warned the Highwayman - with her death. Once dawn came he saw her head bowed down over the musket's barrel drenched with her own blood. Then he spurred like a madman shrieking a curse to the sky when he realized the girl was his lover, Bess; with the white road smoking behind him his rapier brandished high. The Redcoats shot him down on the highway when he turned around to get revenge for the death of his lover. They still say when the wind is in the trees, when the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, when the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, The Highwayman’s ghost comes riding up to the old inn-door.

Literary Elements in the Highwayman

Similes In the Highwayman

"...His hair like moldy hay..."(21) This is a simile because it compares Tim's hair to moldy hay using like or as. It means his hair was very dirty and resembles moldy hay.

"Back, he spurred like a madman." (90) This is a simile because it compares the Highwayman to a crazy person using like. This means the way he yelled, sounded like he was crazy.



Metaphors in the Highwayman

"His eyes were hallows of madness..."(86) This is a metaphor because it compares his eyes to those a a crazy person without uses like or as. This means his eyes were deep like a person who is crazy.

“There was death at every window…”(46). This quote is a metaphor because it compares death to the sight at the windows. This means there was some sort of danger at every window.

Alliteration in the Highwayman

"When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas…”(93).

When they tell us the moon is a ghostly galleon the two word “ghostly” and “galleon” make alliteration. It is alliteration because they are using two words with the same first letter next to each other. They quote means that the moon is floating above the clouds just like a ship is floating above water.


Vivid Imagery in the Highwayman

“Blood red were his spurs i’ the golden noon; wine red was his velvet coat”(88) This is vivid imagery because it gives a clear image of how the Highwayman's clothing looked. It means his jacket was a deep purplish red and his spurs were also a deep red.