gothic lit

gothic lit

Listen online to Loreena McKennitt’s performance of “The Highwayman” as well as the one by Phil
Ochs. Which song version of “The Highwayman” do you think has more merit? It is okay if you are
not particularly fond of this style of music, or do like both of them, or instead have one definite
favorite. In any case, you must explain the strengths and/or weaknesses of each version. Feel free
to include any thoughts you may have about Fleetwood Mac’s choice to use this poem’s imagery as
a backdrop for their music video for “Everywhere.”

Do you think Bess made a wise choice in sacrificing herself for her love? Why or why not? What
would you have done if you were in her captive situation that night? What would you have done if
you had been in her lover the Highwayman’s position the next morning when he learned what she
had done?

In what way does the narrator of “Porphyria’s Lover” believe he is actually benefiting her by killing
her at that moment? Do you believe that his deed was selfless, selfish, or both? Explain why you
think so, using at least TWO examples (two examples of why you agree with Dick Sullivan, or two
examples of why you agree instead with J.T. Best’s analysis).

How would you feel if your loved one asked you to run away with him/her after such a long
absence as William had in “Lenore”? Would you drop everything and go, as Lenore did, or would
you refuse? What considerations might make this decision either easy or difficult for you? Would
more caution have been able to save Lenore from her fate?