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‘The Highwayman’. Alfred Noyes. Who were the Highwaymen?. What did they do? How did they get away with their crimes? Were they always ‘bad’?. The poem…. Task 2: Cloze Passage. Cloze Passage: Using the words provided in the box, complete the paragraphs.

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‘The Highwayman’

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Presentation Transcript
who were the highwaymen
Who were the Highwaymen?

What did they do?

How did they get away with their crimes?

Were they always ‘bad’?

task 2 cloze passage
Task 2: Cloze Passage

Cloze Passage: Using the words provided in the box, complete the paragraphs.

This will check your understanding of the poem!

task 1 storyboard
Task 1:Storyboard

‘The Highwayman’ is a narrative poem – it tells a story.

Read the poem through carefully.

Decide what the key events/scenes are in this story.

Draw a storyboard. Cartoon stickmen will suffice!

task 3 amazing images
Task 3: Amazing Images

This poem is filled with wonderful images.

Read through your copy of the poem, highlighting when you see simile and metaphor being used.

Use a different colour!

Once you have identified the images, pick 1 simile and 2 metaphors.

In your jotter, explain what is being compared and what it makes you imagine. You can draw a picture to accompany your explanation…

task 4 sounds like
Task 4: Sounds Like?

Another important feature of this poem is the use of sound techniques, including onomatopoeia and alliteration.

Picking another two colours, look through the poem and highlight when you see these techniques being used.

task 5 mood and atmosphere
Task 5: Mood and Atmosphere
  • Copy the following definitions into your jotter.
    • Mood: a distinctive emotional quality or character: “The mood of the music was almost funereal”; “the mood was tense.”
    • Atmosphere: a particular environment or surrounding influence: "there was an atmosphere of excitement”; “the atmosphere was electric.”
task 5 mood and atmosphere11
Task 5: Mood and Atmosphere

Tense Scary Joyful Mysterious Angry

Dramatic Romantic Exciting

Dreamy Sinister Gloomy

Think carefully about the emotions the poem ‘The Highwayman’ stirs in you as it is read.

From the words below, pick three which you think could be used to describe the mood/atmosphere in the poem.

task 5 mood and atmosphere12
Task 5: Mood and Atmosphere

Now that you have decided which words match the poem, you now need to back yourself up.

Read through the poem, selecting a quotation for each mood word (which means you need 3 quotations).

Challenge: can you explain why it makes you feel this way?

Example: The mood is very sinister when it describes how Bess is captured: ‘There was Death at every window, And Hell at one dark window.’ The personification of Hell and Death makes it seem as though no-one can escape evil, and hints that Bess will die.

the highwayman villain or victim
The Highwayman – villain or victim?

What is your first impression of the Highwayman? Does he seem evil? What about brave? Or mysterious? Pick a quotation to support your answer.

When you read about his relationship with Bess, what does this make you think of the highwayman? Why?

How do you feel when you discover that the pair are being spied on? Explain your reasons for feeling this way.

How do you feel when you read about what happens to Bess? Again, explain your reasons!

What do you think of the highwayman when you read about his reaction to the news of Bess’ death? Explain.

How are you left feeling towards the highwayman at the end? Reasons please!

essay questions
Essay Questions

What makes ‘The Highwayman’ such a dramatic narrative poem?

How does the poet Alfred Noyes create sympathy for the Highwayman?


In groups, decide on the TOPICS for your essay.

For example, if you are writing about what makes the poem dramatic you could write about the sound techniques that he uses.

Bullet point your ideas:

Topic 1: Sound techniques

Topic 2: …..

revision topic sentences
Revision: Topic Sentences

The Highwayman visits his lover, Bess.

The Highwayman seems to be a mysterious character.

topic sentences
Topic Sentences

They must need to be expanded or clarified.

It must let you know what the rest of the paragraph is going to be about.

the introduction
The Introduction

Remember you must include the following:

The title – ‘The Highwayman’.

The name of the poet – Alfred Noyes.

The type of text – narrative poem.

A brief summary.

Key words from the question.

main paragraphs
Main Paragraphs

Each paragraph must have the following:

A clear topic sentence.

Evidence from the poem (sum up what happens and introduce quotations).

Comments on what the evidence reveals or the effect it achieves.

A clear link back to the topic.


When we first meet the highwayman, he seems to be a very mysterious and interesting character.

In the opening lines, the poet describes the highwayman’s appearance as he gallops over the hills. His clothes are very sophisticated, including a ‘coat of claret velvet’ and ‘a bunch of lace at his chin’. He also seems to be carrying a few weapons, as we are told that he has both a knife and pistol.

We get the impression that he is not a common criminal, as he seems well dressed and not at all scruffy. Even though he is carrying weapons, his nice clothes don’t make him seem like an aggressive or frightening character.

This is important because we are made to find him interesting which makes us feel more sympathy when things go wrong for him.