Q.1.   What is kagwa’s story in the Huntsman? 2005-II(S)

Or       Why did the King react so violent to kagwa’s tale in Huntsman? 2006-II(S)


The poet advises us to avoid the unnecessary talk. Useless and irresponsible talk brings disaster for the talkative one. The poem also describes the attitude of Kings. They never like common people’s talk. They do not believe in anything without certifying it in their own way.

Kagwa  was  a  hunter  of  lions  and  he  used  to  hunt  through  bush  and forest with his spear. One day he found a human skull and asked, “What brought you here”. The skull replied “Talking brought me here”. He did not understand the lesson hidden in it and went to the king’s court to tell about this miraculous discovery. The king instead of granting a prize, ordered to know reality. He sent his two guards with Kagwa to search for the talking skull.  The king further ordered them to kill Kagwa if such a strange skull was not found there. For many days and nights they could find nothing. At last, they found a skull, Kagwa asked it how it had come there. But the skull did not answer. Kagwa began to implore. But the skull remained silent and Kagwa was killed in compliance with the king’s orders. Strange enough it was that after his murder the skull spoke and asked Kagwa, how he had come there. The dead Kagwa answered that talking brought him there. So Kagwa’s folly and habit of talking brought his death. He should not have told the king about talking skull. 242


Q.2.   Discuss in detail the use of elements of suspense and irony in the poem.

Or     Write a note on irony in huntsman. 2009-I


            The poem “The Huntsman” is replete with the elements of suspense and irony. Suspense means mental uncertainty and thrill. The Kagwa’s discovery of the skull, his asking how it had come in the forest, whether skull would speak or not, his hasty march to the king to convey the news, incredible attitude of the king, sending of two guards to search for the skull, order to kill kagwa if Skull does not speak and silence of the skull till the end of kagwa’s life create an atmosphere of suspense.

Poem also contains some ironic elements. Irony is a mode of speech in which meaning is contrary to the words spoken. The reply of skull in itself is ironical because skulls don’t speak. Kagwa hurried to the king to tell the story expecting that the king would give him some kind of reward for finding a talking skull. Instead, the king did not believe him and appointed two guards to kill him if his story proved false. When Kagwa went to the forest with two guards, he was dead sure that the skull would definitely talk but the skull ironically did not speak and he was killed.

The third element of irony is that Kagwa appears to be a brave and wise man but he died like a foolish person. 219

Q.3.   The poet draws our attention to a tragic fact of life.

Or     The huntsman becomes the hunted the prey to a cruel remorseless fate Discuss.

Or     Is it Huntsman’s fate or folly that kills him?


It is definitely a tragic fact of life that man thinks something favourable to him while the consequence is just against it. The poet is also drawing our attention to the same fact that often we think that the result of our action would prove fruitful When the result comes we are just shocked. Same is the case with the hero of the poem Kagwa. He thinks of the talking skull something rewarding but the same skull becomes the cause of his death. He thought that the king would be not only astonished but also be pleased after listening about the talking skull. The king appoints two guards to kill Kagwa if the story proves false. Hence the huntsrnan becomes the hunted himself. The poet says that often fate does not support us in some of our action rather punishes us mercilessly. Kagwa also becomes a prey of his fate. More tragic is that no one can go against fate. No one can fight it or blame it. The other tragic thing is that the same fate is remorseless. It does not lament on whatever it has done to some one. Rather it chuckles at the misery of man. The poet says that we are mere puppets in the hands of fate. It is upon its discretion which way it leads us to.

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