My Interpretation of the Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

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These days understanding literature has become so much easier what with the internet's humongous repertoire. But then, you need to analyse every detail you read for not everything up there on the net will be true although it may be someone's point of view put across rather strongly. Recently , while reading The Highwayman I tried to identify the threads of poetic craft that ran through it and the very experience of reading this poem filled me with wonder. Wonder at how the poet could have taken a not-so-heroic highway robber and simply aided by well-crafted phrases and a thrilling romantic plot turn around our perception of the highwayman. So our sympathies lie, not with the law, not with what history tells us about highwaymen of the 18th century, but with the dashing young highwayman who is hopelessly in love with Bess, the landlord's daughter, the man who promises to be back with his beloved , the courageous young lover who comes riding back to seek revenge for his lady love's death, only to die a dog's death himself. This hero has been betrayed by the jealous ostler Tim, who had overheard him parting ways with Bess. Tim, whose description makes it obvious that he quite the villain of the story, is also in love with Bess but knows he cannot get her as Bess's heart has already been won by the highwayman. Tim's unrequited love turns him into a jealous lover who informs the red-coats about the highwayman's presence and his promise to his beloved. The cruel, heartless red-coats are supposed to be the ones who enforce law- yet here we see them behaving in a most uncouth manner, seeking no permission from the landlord when they enter the inn, drinking his ale , torturing his young girl and making her a bait with which to catch their prey. The loving, humane highwayman is a sharp contrast to the ruthless soldiers. Alfred Noyes, through his vivid description

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