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Reading Poetry: 'The Highwayman'

In this worksheet, students read the first two verses of the poem 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes and look for evidence of how language and other devices used by the author give effect and meaning.

'Reading Poetry: 'The Highwayman'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Understand Meaning

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Highwaymen were land-based pirates, dreaded by travellers as they would seize stage coaches and rob them at gunpoint.

Read these first two verses from 'The Highwayman' and answer the questions.

 

 

*****************

The Highwayman

by Alfred Noyes

 

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.

 

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.

 

*****************

 

 

Match up the archaic (old fashioned) vocabulary with the modern word below.

Column A

Column B

torrent
sword
galleon
downpour
moor
trousers
claret
ship
breeches
grassland
rapier
red

The writer uses repetition. Which word is repeated several times in the first stanza of this extract?

What kind of atmosphere does the writer create from the beginning of this poem?

a positive, happy atmosphere

a tense, spooky atmosphere

a violent, bloodthirsty atmosphere

From the way the Highwayman is described in the second stanza, choose three comments below which could be true about him.

He is successful.

He is unsuccessful.

He wants to impress other people.

He is good at robbing people.

He doesn't care what people think about him.

Highwaymen were dangerous outlaws who robbed people for their money in deserted places along empty roads, often at night. How does the writer make us think about Highwaymen from this poem?

that they are a disgrace

that they are very dangerous

that they are exciting and glamorous

The writer uses lots of imagery about nature in the poem. Which of the following words ARE in the poem and which are NOT in it? (Remember, you can look at the extract again by clicking on the Help button above).

 In the poem Not in the poem
wind
beach
trees
moon
seas
storm
moor
flowers
sky

Which of the following phrases from the extract ARE metaphors and which are NOT metaphors?

 Metaphors Not Metaphors
moon was a ghostly galleon
jewelled sky
purple moor
bunch of lace
ribbon of moonlight
up to the thigh

The writer uses the phrase: old inn-door.

 

What does the adjective 'old' suggest about the place and the people who might live there? Choose three answers.

that they had Highwaymen visit often

that they are not used to exotic strangers

that they are not exciting and glamorous

that they have lots of money to steal

that they will be surprised by this visitor

Which two-word phrase in the extract of the poem uses alliteration?

When the writer uses the phrase: "jewelled sky", it is a romantic way of describing which of the following?

fireworks

stars

diamonds

  • Question 1

 

 

Match up the archaic (old fashioned) vocabulary with the modern word below.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

torrent
downpour
galleon
ship
moor
grassland
claret
red
breeches
trousers
rapier
sword
  • Question 2

The writer uses repetition. Which word is repeated several times in the first stanza of this extract?

CORRECT ANSWER
riding
  • Question 3

What kind of atmosphere does the writer create from the beginning of this poem?

CORRECT ANSWER
a tense, spooky atmosphere
  • Question 4

From the way the Highwayman is described in the second stanza, choose three comments below which could be true about him.

CORRECT ANSWER
He is successful.
He wants to impress other people.
He is good at robbing people.
  • Question 5

Highwaymen were dangerous outlaws who robbed people for their money in deserted places along empty roads, often at night. How does the writer make us think about Highwaymen from this poem?

CORRECT ANSWER
that they are exciting and glamorous
  • Question 6

The writer uses lots of imagery about nature in the poem. Which of the following words ARE in the poem and which are NOT in it? (Remember, you can look at the extract again by clicking on the Help button above).

CORRECT ANSWER
 In the poem Not in the poem
wind
beach
trees
moon
seas
storm
moor
flowers
sky
  • Question 7

Which of the following phrases from the extract ARE metaphors and which are NOT metaphors?

CORRECT ANSWER
 Metaphors Not Metaphors
moon was a ghostly galleon
jewelled sky
purple moor
bunch of lace
ribbon of moonlight
up to the thigh
EDDIE SAYS
A metaphor is when an object is described as something else. Three of these phrases do this, the other three just describe a thing as it is. e.g. purple moor - the moor is purple, it isn't being described as something else.
  • Question 8

The writer uses the phrase: old inn-door.

 

What does the adjective 'old' suggest about the place and the people who might live there? Choose three answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
that they are not used to exotic strangers
that they are not exciting and glamorous
that they will be surprised by this visitor
  • Question 9

Which two-word phrase in the extract of the poem uses alliteration?

CORRECT ANSWER
ghostly galleon
  • Question 10

When the writer uses the phrase: "jewelled sky", it is a romantic way of describing which of the following?

CORRECT ANSWER
stars
---- OR ----

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