The Erlking Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Erlking.
This section contains 512 words
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Erlking

The Erlking is the main subject of the story. The narrator, an innocent young woman, comes upon him while walking through the woods one October day. She immediately becomes subject to his magical attraction, which he also uses to charm and tame the woodland animals around him. The Erlking lives in a cottage alone in the woods and lives off the bounty of nature. While he seems in some ways to be at one with nature, he also exerts a certain tyranny over it. Most significantly, he draws the birds to him with the beautiful songs of his pipe playing; then he traps them in cages, which he keeps in his house.

Like the natural environment around him, the Erlking is both alluring and menacing. The narrator is drawn into a sexual relationship with him that she describes as both tender and brutal. While he seems to represent...

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This section contains 512 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Erlking Study Guide
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Gale
The Erlking from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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