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Can you give a summary of the poem "The glove and the Lion" by Leigh Hunt?
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The first stanza of the poem sets the scene. It was considered "royal sport" at the time for nobles in King Francis's court to watch lions fight among themselves. Among the nobles sitting in the arena during the incident in questions is the Count de Lorge, and the beautiful lady who is the object of his desire.
The second stanza describes the violence and bloodshed involved in the sport. The lions "ramp and roar...with horrid, laughing jaws," and the carnage is such that one of the onlookers comments that it is a good thing that the noblemen and women are watching from their vantage point safely above, rather than being among the beasts below.
The focus in stanza three shifts to the lady of whom the Count is enamored. She is a mischievous girl, and entertains the idea that her lover, who is "brave as brave can be," would do anything to make her happy. Knowing this, and wanting to draw attention to herself, she throws her handkerchief down among the lions, knowing that the codes of chivalry dictate that he go and fetch it back for her, to show his devotion to her.
In stanza four, the Count, in a courtly manner, does indeed leap amidst the lions, and retrieves the glove, escaping unscathed. Instead of returning it to the lady with a gesture of love, however, he throws it in her face. King Francis, watching, praises the Count for his action; he has proven his bravery and chivalry, but the lady, by requiring him to do such a thing to please her, has shown no love in return. Ruled by vanity, the lady has shown herself to be unworthy of the Count's devotion, and has gotten what she deserved.
It is clear that the Count no longer wants to marry the lady. By asking him, for no other reason than to demonstrate her power over him, to risk his life to fetch her handkerchief, she has shown her true nature and her vain and unloving character.
Posted by dymatsuoka on September 16, 2010 at 6:47 AM (Answer #1)
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