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THE ERL-KING
Quote: "His eyes are quite green, as if from too much looking at the wood."
Analysis: the notion that the Erl King's eyes are such a colour from `too much looking
at the wood' is supernatural as it enforces the idea that he is the embodiment of
nature. `Green-eyed' is often a metaphor for jealousy ­ this could lead to an
interesting interpretation is so far as Erl King, as the supernatural personification of
the forest, is jealous of the very thing he embodies. The idea of `too much looking at
the wood' also links to the Gothic idea of excess.…read more

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THE ERL-KING
Quote: "...his flesh is of the same substance as those leaves..."
Analysis: this again enforces the idea that Erl King is the embodiment of nature. This
also shows how absolutely not human he is, and could be said to link to the Gothic
idea of subversion; the stereotypical embodiment of the natural world is "Mother
Nature" and is typically female and portrayed as gentle and calming, where Erl King is
male, sinister and unsettling.…read more

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THE ERL-KING
Quote: "...you sink your teeth into my throat."
Analysis: although the context of the line makes it sexual, Carter's choice of the word
`throat' rather than `neck' gives it a rather more vampiric and sinister atmosphere. The
idea of vampirism also makes Erl King seem very predatory and dangerous; perhaps
juxtaposing the natural, almost romantic/lyrical way in which he has been described
thus far.…read more

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THE ERL-KING
Quote: "...drew me towards him on his magic lasso of inhuman music...."
Analysis: this is the statement that perhaps best encompasses Erl King's sinister allure.
It suggests that his music, the thing that tempted the narrator to him, has a physical
embodiment and is therefore not of this world. Carter's choice of the descriptor
`inhuman' is interesting. It could be taken to mean simply `not human'. However, in
the context of the Gothic, the word usually means `lacking in human emotion,
especially compassion or empathy.' If it is interpreted in the latter way, it gives Erl
King an altogether more threatening and sinister nature.…read more

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THE ERL-KING
Quote: "...it will play discordant music without a hand touching it."
Analysis: this enforces the idea that Erl King is very powerfully magical; even
following his death, his fiddle will play of its own accord simply because it is strung
with his hair. The use of the adjective `discordant' suggests an unsettling and sinister
nature to Erl King's magic.…read more

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