The Man From Snowy River by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson - Poem Analysis


The Man From Snowy River by Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson is one of the most loved and well-known Australian poems ever written. First published on 26 April 1890, the ballad has since become a part of Australia's culture and identity. While The Man From Snowy River tells an entertaining tale it also illustrates the typically Australian attitudes of supporting the underdog and of mateship.

As well as being a great story, The Man From Snowy River is also beautifully crafted. Throughout the poem, the mood is exciting and fast-paced. Tense anticipation at the beginning eventually leads up to the thrilling climax, which is followed by a sense of victory and achievement.

Summary of The Man From Snowy River

The Man From Snowy River tells the story of a band of horsemen who set out to capture a group of wild horses. In the end it is an unknown rider who prevails above the others and single-handedly rounds up the horses.

Analysis of the Language in The Man From Snowy River

A feature of The Man From Snowy River is its vivid and effective language. The bushmen language helps to convey the strong Australian culture behind the poem and the vivid descriptions, such as "cliffs and crags that beetled overhead", provoke marvellous imagery of the surroundings. So too do the many similes and metaphors such as "And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed" and "a stripling on a small and weedy beast", as does the personification, "the stock-whips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back".

Analysis of the Sound of The Man From Snowy River

The Man From Snowy River is structured into 13 stanzas, each containing eight lines. The entire poem is set to a fast, regular rhythm in which you can hear the wild horses galloping due to the stressed, hard consonants and continual beat. It also uses strong alliteration and onomatopoeia, such as "Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home" and "resounded to the thunder of the tread". These features, along with the rhyming pattern of ABAB CDCD, produce a beautifully musical poem, pleasing to the ear.

The Man From Snowy River on the Australian $10 Note

Such is Banjo Patterson's importance to Australia that his face appears on the Australian $10 note. The entire text of The Man From Snowy River poem is also printed a number of times in microprint on the note to prevent counterfeiting.

The Man From Snowy River Movie

The movie The Man From Snowy River, which is based on the poem, was released on 5 November 1982 and is a classic of Australian cinema. It stars Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson, Tom Burlinson, Sigrid Thornton and Lorraine Bayly and has won several awards.

The Man From Snowy River Movie Quotes

"Male company will be a pleasant relief in this hothouse of female emotions." - Rosemary Hume

"There are a dozen good brood mares in that mob. I'll be back for them... and for whatever else is mine." - Jim Craig

"If I'd wanted your help, mate, I would've asked for it." - Jessica Harrison

"I heard you broke in more than the colt while we were away. Did you have to use your spurs boy!" - Curly to Jim Craig

"I'm not hiding beneath the skirts of a bunch of women." - Jim Craig

"Don't throw effort out to foolishness!" - Spur

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