Peer Gynt Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the hunting story that Peer tells his mother at the beginning of the play?

At the beginning of the play, Peer tells his mother how he found a beautiful deer, shot and wounded him and then jumped on his back in order to slit its throat. He goes on to say that the deer wasn't as wounded as he thought it was, and that it jumped up and ran with him across the countryside. The deer then encountered its reflection in a lake. Peer says the reflection came to life and fought with the real deer, which eventually won the battle and swam across the lake to freedom.

2. How does Peer's mother react to the story her son tells at the beginning of the play?

After first hearing the story, Aase is relieved that Peer wasn't hurt, but she soon realizes that his whole story is just another of Peer's lies. She recognizes the story as an event that actually happened years ago when she was a young woman married to a man named Gudbrand.

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