Summary of the Poem The Huntsman

This is the summary of the poem The Huntsman written by Edward Lawbury. This summary includes quotes and references. This is a good length summary for college-level students. This is good for B.A English Punjab University Students. The narrative poem “The Huntsman” is based on Kenyan folklore.

The Poem The Huntsman

The narrative poem “The Huntsman” is based on Kenyan folklore. The poet “Edward Lawbury” advises us through the story of a Kenyan hunter, Kagwa who himself becomes the prey to fate, to avoid the unnecessary talk.


In this poem, the poet Edward Lawbury has described the tale of a hunter whose too much talking brought him to the death. Kagwa was a hunter. He used to hunt in the far-off forests with his spear. He had a bad habit of talking too much. One day, as he was searching for some hunt in a forest, he came across the skull of a man. Talkative as he was, he talked to the skull. He asked it how it came there. To his amazement, the skull replied in a human voice. The sull told him that it was its too much talking which brought him there.

Kagwa rushed to the king to tell him about this amazing discovery of his. He wanted to impress the King by his meeting with and talking to a skull. He had also the hope of some prize from the king. He met the king and told him the whole story. The King couldn't seem to believe. He was not ready to believe the story until he confirms it.

The king sent his two men to accompany Kagwa to that skull. He ordered them to bring the skull to the court if it spoke like a human. He also ordered the guards to kill Kagwa at the spot if the skull did not speak or it did not exist.

At last, they found the skull and Kagwa asked the skull how it came there. The skull had no effect and it did not speak. Kagwas aksed it again and the skull remained silent.

 The guards of the king believed that Kagwa was wrong. Now they had to follow the command of the king. They cut the head of Kagwa there and went away. Now the skull opened his mouth and asked Kagwa how he came there. Kagwa told the skull that talking brought him there.

The poem tells us a strong message. The skull itself represents the consequences of senseless and useless talking. Kagwa represents the foolishness of the people who do not understand the hidden meanings of the words. The poem also illustrates the supreme attitude of the kings and dictators. They do not like common people's talk.

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Summary of the Poem The Huntsman Summary of the Poem The Huntsman Reviewed by Saif Ullah ZahidonDecember 20, 2018 Rating: 5

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