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The Erlking Themes

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 820 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Nature and Its Meaning

The deep woods where the story is set is a lonely, melancholy place, giving in to the creeping coldness of the oncoming winter. It is also a truly wild place; it has "reverted to its original privacy." It has a disorienting effect on any human passerby, as indicated by the second-person address: "It is easy to lose yourself in these woods." The unsettling power of the wood is soon ascribed to the Erlking, whose presence permeates it. The Erlking is a wild man. He lives among animals, surviving off the land, and has dried leaves in his long, wild hair. He is a symbol of nature's power but also transcends nature with his magical control. He is destructive in the same way that nature is destructive— merely by following who he is, with no malicious intent. Yet he tames fierce and independent beasts like...

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This section contains 820 words
(approx. 3 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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