The king of Brobdingnag appears as the most sympathetic character in "Gulliver's Travels". How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your point of view clearly with examples.

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you can call a king who would refer to Gulliver and his people as "the most odious vermin who ever crawled on the face of the earth" sympathetic, then I guess he is.  THe Brobdingnagian King is reasonable, a good listener, and an excellent questioner, but he is also judgemental.  He is the epitome of English society in making rash judgements without all sides of the information--exactly what Swift is attempting to satirize..

I agree with the above answer.  The Houyhnhnm population is a much more logical, rational, and level-headed society.  Gulliver admires them very much and is even sorry to leave their company.  This is probably the very reason why Gulliver, upon returning to England, sees all humanity as "Yahoos" and that he would rather live in the stables with his own horses than be with other humans.

gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Answer: not very. He's certainly sympathetic, and far more sympathetic than most of the characters Gulliver encounters. However, in my reading he is less sympathetic than the Houyhnhnm. The universality of their virtues make them more sympathetic. The king is about as good as he can be, but he is limited. The Houyhnhnm are rational, and create a good society.

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Gulliver's Travels

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