Gallows is a poem about those who protect and violate the law. In this poem, the poet talks about a game keeper and the punishment he confers on a weasel, a crow and a magpie.
The game keeper killed the weasel(a funny little animal) and hung it on the branch of a dead oak tree because it killed other animals.
The keeper shot the crow and hung it on the tree because it a thief and a murderer. He says that now it cannot commit any more sins.
In the same way, the poet writes about the magpie (bird with a long beautiful tail) It was a petty thief which picked up many small shining objects.
Qusetions & Answers:-
1. What did the keeper do to the weasel? Why do you think he did so? Why does he swing there without pleasure, without pain?The keeper shot the weasel with his gun and hung him up on a tree. He did so because the weasel lived in the sun with his family and was a nillisance to other birds. He swings them without pleasure or pain because he is dead.
2. What had the crow done? "And the keeper made him one of the things that were"... What does it mean? can the crow commit any more sins on the branch of the oak tree?The crow had committed theft and murder. It means that the keeper shot him too. The crow cannot commit any more sins on the branch of the tree because he is dead.
3. "There are no more sins to be sinned. On the dead oak tree bough". Who do these lines speak off? What sins did he commit previously? What happened to him and why were there no more sins to be sinned?These lines speak of a crow. He stole small things and also killed insects, worns and chicks. He was killed by the keeper and hung up on the tree. As he was dead. he could commit no more sins.
4. What kind of a bird was the magpie? Did his ability to talk and his beauty save him?The magpie was a noisy bird with black and white feathers. It could make nice sounds with its long tongue. It looked beautiful with its long tail. Neither his ability to talk his beauty saved him from death because the keeper killed him too.
5. The weasel, the crow and the magpie were wicked, certainly, But could they help being what they were? Do you think they deserved the punishment they got?Though the weasel, the crow and the magpie were wicked, they could not help being what the were. They did not deserve the punishment they got because it is in the nature of things that they had to prey upon smaller animals for their basic needs.
6. It is the keeper's duty to protect the birds and beasts under his care. Why then did he have to shoot some of them? Should he be blamed for what he did?The keeper shot some of the birds and beasts on the pretext that they were killing the smaller ones. This is a clear dereliction of duty. He should be blamed for it.
7. Who do you think was more cruel-the weasel that killed smaller animals or the keeper who killed the weasel? Why?I think the keeper who killed the weasel was more cruel than the weasel that killed the smaller animals. Because he forgot his legitimate duty of protecting the birds and beasts under his care instead of killing the weasel, he would have driven him away.
8. Who do think are the poet's sympathies with the birds and beasts, or the keeper?The poet's sympathies are with the birds and beasts because it is in the nature of things that they should live on other smaller animals. But the keeper had shot them dead for no fault of theirs.
9. What did the keeper do to the weasel, the crow and the magpie?It was the duty of the keeper to protect the birds and beasts under his care. But he shot the weasel, the crow and the magpie dead and hung them on the branch of the dead oak tree. He thought he had done them a favour but it was a serious dereliction of duty.
10. What was the fate of the weasel, the crow and the magpie?The weasel, the crow and the magpie were shot dead by the keeper and hung on a dead oak tree bough. They had neither pleasure nor pain. They were just hanging in snow, rain and the sun with enormous leisure.
11. Why does the keeper hang the dead creature from a tree?The keeper hangs the dead creature from a tree so that they could not commit any more sins, besides not being a feast to others. He also thinks that he has provided them with endless leisure.
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