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Most humans do not think twice before they speak.

Justify this statement


providing evidence from the poem The Huntsman. (A Model answer to the
Question number 5 of the O/L English Literature Model Paper. From these model
answers, you will learn how to answer an essay type question according to the
marking scheme.) Await model answers on the dramas next.
The poem, The Huntsman which is based on a Kenyan folk story is a narrative poem
about a huntsman called Kagwa and his death penalty he receives due to his over-talking.
Kagwa went hunting and found a talking skull. He came to the king and informed him
about the fact. The king wanted to verify the truth of what he said. As the talking skull
was not found, Kagwa was killed. However, after his murder the skull spoke. The story
tells us that irresponsible talking can bring destruction.
The danger of talking too much is implied in the very first stanza. When Kagwa demanded
from the skull How did you come here? , the answer was talking brought me here.
When the skull spoke these words, it looked at his mouth. The huntsman was not
intelligent and perceptive enough to heed the warning implied in this statement or the
gesture of the skull. Rather, he was eager to pass the message to the King which
eventually cost him his life.
In contrast, the Kings reaction was a deliberate and a well-considered one.
The king was silent. Then he said slowly,
Never since I was born of my mother
Have I seen or heard of a skull which spoke.
The King appears to be intolerant of the foolishness of people. This is amply illustrated by
his ruthless command to his guards:
But if his tale is a lie
And the skull speaks no ward
This Kagwa himself must die.
There is grim irony in the fact that after his death, Kagwa answers the skull using the
same words of warning it had given him earlier Talking brought me here.
Thus, the poem brings out the danger of talking too much and reminds us about the old
adage the Silence is golden. Perhaps, Kagwa wanted to get a prize for his discovery of
the talking skull, but due to his hastiness, he had to pay with his life, highlighting the fatal
irony of the talking skull. The story also warns us to think twice before we speak.

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