Comp. Lit R1B Section 15
September 2, 2012
The Erl King: Deciding on Sides
In the poem " Erl-King”, the writer presents 3 characters. A father fantastic son operating through the night with his son having supposed delusions of the Erlking coming to have him from his daddy. The author holds the reader throughout the poem through multiple perceptions and pushes the reader to pick sides. Even more so when we have a subtle conflict between the poem's forms, being more nursery-rhyme like and the poem's circumstance, being even more on the gloomy and irony. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's " Erl- King” uses complex sentence structure and mental conflicts to confuse the reader's decisions about the characters' part throughout the poem, intensifying the sense of urgency and discourse involving the characters inside the text.
One particular might imagine the difference between the child's father and the Erlking is that the dad represents the light while the Erlking represents the darkness. This might be true, unless I go on and say that the daddy represents the " darkness” and the Erl King represents the " light”. Simply by presenting this kind of counterargument, what it takes is that this poem is about the child's approaching of age and independence and the father is in fact preventing the child from going through new things and going away on his own way of " darkness”. Looking at my first argument, the reason that I believe the father symbolizes the " light” is because of the example and guidance he gives to the kid. For example , if the son says: Father, don't you see the Erlking? / The Erlking with crown and flowing bathrobe? (6-7). The daddy reassures him that it's simply a wisp of fog. The father is which represents light through making sure that the son will not fall into the path of avarice, rather in to the path of humility. The Erlking guarantees the child " various a fantastic garment”, even though the father brushes it away saying that it's just the leaves rustling inside the...