What are the four metaphors and two similes in Alfred Noyes's poem "The Highwayman"?    

There are numerous literary devices used in Alfred Noyes's "The Highwayman," including metaphors and similes. Three metaphors can be found in the first three lines. One simile is used to show how the highwayman dies.

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Literary devices such as similes and metaphors are used in "The Highwayman" to establish an ominous mood.

The first stanza relies heavily on the use of metaphors.

The wind was a torrent of darkness.

Of course, the wind itself can't be dark. But through this comparison, the tone is immediately set. This isn't the calm breeze of a summer's day. Darkness abounds, and it is further modified by the use of "torrent," which connotes a sense of being out of control or wild.

The moon was a ghostly galleon.

In this comparison, the moon is much like an old, sailing ship. This comparison is interesting because the moon's typical role has been shifted. Often used to provide guidance to sailors, the moon is seen as a constant source of direction, being steadfast and reliable. However, in this comparison the moon itself needs direction, finding itself in "cloudy seas." It is also described as "ghostly," adding to the eerie sense of foreboding as the poem opens.

The road was a ribbon of moonlight.

This third metaphor in three successive lines again adds to a sense of confusion. Not indicating a straight path, the road twists in ribbons in the moonlight. This same moonlight has been described as "ghostly" in the previous line; therefore, anyone who travels on this road is likely to encounter conflict.

The highwayman is shot near the end of the poem, and a simile (which uses like or as in a comparison) is used to show how he died:

When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway
Comparing this man to a dog shows that his life is not valued by the robbers. He is not given an honorable death but is instead destroyed as being something less than human.
In the end, the tone is solidified as the closing brings images of a ghostly highwayman who often rides these same roads, looking for the landlord's daughter he loved in life.
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on June 8, 2020
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As with most poetry, the English poet Alfred Noyes' "The Highwayman" displays numerous examples of metaphors and similes, the latter being distinguished by the use of the words "like" or "as" in drawing comparisons between two unrelated objects or concepts. Metaphors, in particular, are simple to identify in Noyes's poem, which tells the tragic story of love interrupted by jealousy, tyranny and terror. With such a theme as Noyes employs in "The Highwayman," the comparisons he uses cover a range of emotions.

Examples of metaphors occur in the opening stanza of "The Highwayman," as Noyes establishes the tone from which to relate the story of love between the titular figure and Bess, "the landlord’s black-eyed daughter:"

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.
So, right from the start, we have three metaphors: comparing the wind to "a torrent of darkness," the moon to "a ghostly galleon," and the road to "a ribbon of moonlight." Another metaphor occurs in the fourth stanza in a line that also includes a simile: "His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay." This reference to Tim, the "ostler," or stablehand, compares this jealously-driven figure's eyes (he, as with the highwayman, is in love with Bess) to "hollows of madness." Employing a simile, Noyes next compares Tim's hair to "mouldy hay," the use of the word "like" signifying that this comparison involves a simile rather than a metaphor (the distinction being very subtle).
 
A second simile occurs in that same stanza, again referring to Tim, when the narrator describes this lowly figure as eavesdropping on the highwayman: "Dumb as a dog he listened." Again, the use of the word "as" in drawing the comparison between Tim and a canine marks this as an example of a simile rather than a metaphor.
 
The requested two similes have been identified, but a third occurs in the final stanza of Part I of "The Highwayman:"
He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand.
The simile here is the phrase "his face burnt like a brand," as, again, "like" is used to draw a comparison between "face" and the iron tool heated to very high temperatures and used to "brand" or mark an animal, identifying the animal with a particular ranch or farm.
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Similes and metaphors are literary devices called figures of speech that compare two unlike or dissimilar things to make a description more vivid or visual for the reader.  A simile uses the words “like” or “as” to make the comparison, a metaphor doesn’t use “like” or “as”.

Here’s a list of similes and metaphors from throughout the poem, “The Highwayman”  by Alfred Noyes.

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.  (metaphor) 

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.  (metaphor) 

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   (metaphor)

 His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,  (metaphor/simile)

 Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—(simile)

 His face burnt like a brand (simile)

 When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor (metaphor)  

 Her face was like a light. (simile)

 Down like a dog on the highway (simile)

 

 

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