The Erlking Summary & Study Guide

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 710 words
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The story opens with a long descriptive passage depicting the stark and gloomy atmosphere of the woods in late October. These woods are characterized as entrapping and menacing, not so much because of any physical danger they present as because of their ability to undermine human identity: "It is easy to lose yourself in these woods." This point is further emphasized though disorienting shifts from second- to third- to first-person narration.

When a clear first-person narrator's voice does emerge, she describes hearing a bird song that expresses her own "girlish and delicious loneliness" as she walks through the woods. She believes that she is alone. She then comes upon a clearing where animals have gathered. The Erlking enters playing a pipe that sounds like a birdsong and reaches out to the narrator. She is immediately subject to his strange charisma. She states that he has the...

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This section contains 710 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Erlking Study Guide
Copyrights
Gale
The Erlking from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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