The Glove and the Lions: ICSE Class 10 English answers, notes

The Glove and the Lions icse class 10
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Get notes, line-by-line explanation, summary, questions and answers, critical analysis, word meanings, extras, and pdf of the poem “The Glove and the Lions” by Leigh Hunt which is part of ICSE Class 10 English (Treasure Chest: A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories). However, the notes should only be treated for references and changes should be made according to the needs of the students.

Summary

The poem opens with a description of King Francis, who is watching his lions fighting in an arena for sport. The king sits above the arena, surrounded by nobles and elegant ladies. Among the nobles is Count de Lorge, who longingly signs for one particular lady there.

The narrator describes the scene as a gallant spectacle, with the brave king presiding over the fierce lions battling below. The lions rampage and roar, viciously biting and clawing at one another in a frenzied fight. Bloody foam flies from their mouths over the barricades enclosing the pit. Amused by the violence, King Francis comments that the spectators are better off watching from their seats than down in the pit.

The lady whom Count de Lorge desires overhears the king’s remark. She is described as strikingly beautiful, with an unchanging smile and bright, intelligent eyes. Confidently believing her lover De Lorge to be the bravest man, she decides to test his love and win glory for herself. With the king, nobles, and ladies looking on, she drops her glove into the lion’s pit, challenging De Lorge to retrieve it.

De Lorge bows to the lady, then jumps into the midst of the raging lions. Quickly and nimbly he leaps back out, glove in hand. But rather than gently return the glove to prove his love, he angrily throws it right in the lady’s face. King Francis approves of De Lorge’s reaction, declaring that it was not true love, but the lady’s vanity and pride that led her to set such a dangerous challenge. The poem ends with the king’s pronouncement on the situation.

In summary, the poem tells the story of a lady who arrogantly tests her lover’s bravery by throwing her glove into a lion pit. But when he succeeds in the challenge and angrily throws the glove back at her, the king praises the lover and condemns the lady’s pride and vanity. The vivid imagery and surprising twist reveal the flaws underlying the spectacle of chivalry and romance.

Line-by-line explanation of the poem

King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,

This first line introduces us right away to King Francis, describing him vividly as a lively, vigorous, and energetic king who took delight in royal sporting events and games. The word “hearty” paints a picture of a king full of vitality and enthusiasm.

And one day as his lions fought, sat looking on the court;

One day, as part of his enjoyment of royal entertainments, King Francis was observing his own lions fighting fiercely and ferociously in an arena or enclosed court. The line reveals that the king kept lions for violent sport and spectacle, sitting safely above the action as the powerful beasts battled below.

The nobles filled the benches, and the ladies in their pride,

The arena was filled with nobles and aristocrats sitting in raised benches above the fighting pit, and elegant ladies dressed in their finest, most ornate gowns and jewels, exhibiting their status and pride.

And ‘mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sighed:

Among the assembled nobles was the Count de Lorge, who had eyes only for one particular lady there, sighing longingly for the woman he desired.

And truly ’twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,

It was truly a noble and magnificent spectacle, the height of royal entertainment, to witness the king presiding over this thrilling animal combat.

Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

The scene embodied ideals of chivalry and romance – bravery and love, with the king holding court above while the fierce royal beasts battled below.

Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws;

The lions prowled and roared aggressively, their terrible, gaping mouths stretched wide as if laughing horribly and maliciously.

They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws;

Savagely the lions bit and locked their jaws, glaring fiercely, striking mighty blows with their paws that swiped as powerfully and swiftly as beams of wind.

With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another;

With immense, crushing power and muffled, choked roars, the lions wrestled, grappled, and forcefully rolled over each other.

Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother;

Until the fighting pit was filled with flying sand and tangled manes in a deafening, chaotic turmoil.

The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air;

The bloody foam from the lions’ mouths sprayed through the air over the pit’s barricades.

Said Francis then, “Faith, gentlemen, we’re better here than there.”

Seeing the violent spectacle, King Francis remarked humorously to his noble audience that they were safer observing from their seats than down in the pit with the ferocious beasts.

De Lorge’s love o’erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame

The lady whom De Lorge pined for, a strikingly beautiful and spirited woman, overheard the king’s wry comment.

With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same;

She had smiling, inviting lips and piercing, intelligent eyes which always appeared unchanged, constantly sparkling and alluring.

She thought, the Count my lover is brave as brave can be;

She thought assuredly that her lover, the Count de Lorge, was as courageous and daring as any man could possibly be.

He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;

She was confident he would carry out remarkable, incredible deeds to demonstrate the depth of his devotion and adoration for her.

King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;

With the king, ladies of the court, and admirers all observing intently, she realised the perfect, almost providential opportunity before her.

I’ll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine.

She decided she would drop her glove into the lion’s den as a challenge to the Count, to prove the strength of his chivalric love for her – and in doing so, she would gain enormous honour and renown.

She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;

So she daringly dropped her glove into the pit, turning to the Count with a confident, anticipatory smile, having set out to test the depths of his devotion.

He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:

The Count bowed gracefully to the lady, then instantly, unhesitatingly jumped down into the pit, recklessly casting himself into the midst of the wild, vicious lions.

The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,

Just as rapidly as he had leapt in, the Count leapt back out of the pit, with extraordinary deftness and agility returning to stand again before the noble crowd.

Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady’s face.

But rather than tenderly returning her glove as a token of his love, he spitefully, violently threw it right in her face in front of all.

“By God!” said Francis, “rightly done!” and he rose from where he sat:

“By God!” exclaimed King Francis, approving of the Count’s shocking action, “That was the right thing to do!” And he stood up dramatically from his royal seat.

“No love,” quoth he, “but vanity, sets love a task like that.”

“It was not true love,” declared the king, “but vanity and pride that set a challenge like that, when love itself was at stake.”

Word meanings

hearty: lively, vigorous, energetic

court: enclosed arena for sports and spectacles

nobles: aristocrats, members of the highest social class

benches: raised, tiered seats around an arena

pride: vanity, haughtiness, satisfaction in status

sighed: longed, pined, yearned

gallant: noble, chivalrous, dignified

crowning: ultimate, preeminent

show: spectacle, display, entertainment

valour: courage, bravery, boldness in battle

ramped: prowled, stalked aggressively

roared: yelled ferociously at high volume

horrid: terrifying, dreadful, causing horror

jaws: mouths, snouts, openings of mouth

glared: stared angrily and intensely

beams: rays, shafts of light

paws: animal feet with claws

wallowing: rolling, thrashing around

might: power, immense strength

stifled: muffled, choked, suppressed

smother: chaotic mix, turmoil

bars: barricades, railings

whisking: spraying, scattering rapidly

quoth: said, spoke

vanity: excessive pride, self-importance

Video summary

About the author

Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) was a prominent Romantic-era writer, poet, essayist, critic and journalist who lived during the same time period as the famous Romantic poets Keats, Byron and Shelley. Hunt is known for his evocative descriptions, lyrical verse, appreciation of nature, and mastery of atmosphere and mood in his writing.

As an influential journalist, Hunt was also one of the most outspoken defenders of liberties during the age of the French Revolution.

The poem “The Glove and the Lions” by Hunt is a humorous narrative set in mediaeval times when concepts of valour and chivalry were idealised. Through the story, Hunt gently pokes fun at the notion of men feeling they must perpetually “prove” their masculine courage to the women they admire.

With its playful tone and lyrical language, the poem is meant to be enjoyed for its poetic beauty and gentle humour, rather than interpreted as conveying a serious moral lesson or message. Hunt invites readers to delight in the world and characters he brings to life through vivid details, rather than looking for deeper meaning or instruction underneath the charming mediaeval tale.

Workbook answers/solutions

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

1. What kind of king was Francis?

A. cruel B. good-natured C. lusty D. wicked

Answer: B. good-natured

2. How would the modern generation look upon such royal sports as lion fighting?

A. amusingly B. sarcastically C. admiringly D. disapprovingly

Answer: D. disapprovingly

3. What has distracted the king’s attention from the lion fighting?

A. the charms of a girl B. the charms of a count’s beloved C. noise of the audience D. the sense of insecurity

Answer: B. the charms of a count’s beloved

4. How did the king react when he looked at De Lorge’s beloved?

A. he smiled B. he sighed C. he laughed D. he frowned

Answer: B. he sighed

5. Which figure of speech is used in the line: “They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams”?

A. metaphor B. symbol C. simile D. oxymoron

Answer: C. simile

6. Which of these remained always the same in De Lorge’s beloved?

A. her smiles B. her lips and eyes C. her mannerisms D. her dress

Answer: B. her lips and eyes

7. Which of these statements is NOT true?

A. De Lorge’s beloved was vain and proud. B. De Lorge’s beloved did not actually love him. C. De Lorge’s beloved wanted to grab attention. D. King Francis got angry at the lady’s action.

Answer: D. King Francis got angry at the lady’s action.

8. De Lorge’s beloved seemed to have been struck by the king’s

A. grandeur and valour B. wisdom C. knowledge D. handsome body

Answer: A. grandeur and valour

9. How did De Lorge throw her lady’s glove back to her?

A. with love B. with a smile C. frowningly D. in anger

Answer: D. in anger

10. By putting him to a dangerous test, De Lorge’s beloved

A. proved her wisdom B. proved that she was vain C. proved that she was timid D. proved that she was unfaithful

Answer: B. proved that she was vain

Comprehension Passages

PASSAGE-1 King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,
And one day as his lions fought, sat looking on the court;
The nobles filled the benches, and the ladies in their pride,
And ‘mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with onefor whom he sighed :
And truly ’twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,
Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

1. Where was the king sitting? What was going on?

Answer: The king was sitting on the court, watching a royal sport where his lions were fighting.

(i) For whom did the king ‘sigh’, and why?

Answer: The king sighed for a lady, one for whom Count de Lorge had feelings, because he was captivated by her beauty and charm.

(ii) Explain the last line here.

Answer: The last line underscores the grand spectacle being witnessed – a blend of bravery (from the lions and the individuals), love (among the courtiers and the count for his beloved), with the king observing from above and the fierce lions below, highlighting the contrasts of love, courage, and royalty.

(iv) What picture of De Lorge’s beloved has the poet given later in the context?

Answer: Later in the context, the poet describes De Lorge’s beloved as a beautiful and lively young woman, with smiling lips and sharp, bright eyes that always reflected beauty and charm.

(v) Why did De Lorge’s beloved think of testing his valour?

Answer: De Lorge’s beloved thought of testing his valour because she saw an opportunity to prove his love for her in a grand manner in front of the king and the court, aiming to gain attention and glory for herself.

PASSAGE-2 Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughingjaws;
They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws;
With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another;
Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother;
The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air;
Said Francis then, “Faith, gentlemen, we’re better here than there.”

(i) What kind of royal sport was in progress? Who were watching it?

Answer: A fierce fight between lions, described as a royal sport, was in progress, being watched by King Francis, his courtiers, and the nobility gathered in the court.

(ii) Who stole the heart of King Francis? In what state of mind was he?

Answer: The beauty of Count de Lorge’s beloved stole King Francis’s heart. He was infatuated, captivated by her charm, which put him in a state of admiration and slight envy.

(iii) Describe the lions’ fight briefly.

Answer: The lions’ fight was ferocious and intense, with the lions roaring, biting, and glaring at each other, giving powerful blows and rolling over one another, creating a thunderous chaos in the pit.

(iv) What did the air carry afar? What did it reveal?

Answer: The air carried the bloody foam from the lions’ fight, whisking it through the bars of the arena, revealing the brutality and the ferocity of the ongoing battle.

(v) Comment on the king’s remark. Who was attracted by his comment?

Answer: The king remarked that they were better off watching from a distance than being near the dangerous fight, highlighting the relief of being safe. De Lorge’s beloved was attracted by his comment, perhaps seeing it as an opportunity to test her lover’s bravery.

PASSAGE-3 De Lorge’s love o’ erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame
With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same;
She thought, the Count my lover is brave as brave can be;
He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;
King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;
I’ll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine.

(i) What kind of show was witnessed by the king and his courtiers? What had distracted the king’s attention?

Answer: The king and his courtiers witnessed a show of lions fighting, a royal sport. The king’s attention was distracted by the beauty of Count de Lorge’s beloved.

(ii) What did De Lorge’s beloved think about him? What was she sure of?

Answer: De Lorge’s beloved thought of him as brave as one can be, sure that he would undertake extraordinary feats to demonstrate his love for her.

(iii) What thought struck her? What were her real intentions?

Answer: The thought that struck her was to drop her glove into the lions’ pit to test her lover’s bravery and devotion. Her real intentions were to garner attention and glory for herself among the royal attendance.

(iv) What happened when the lady threw her glove into the pit and smiled at her lover?

Answer: When the lady threw her glove into the pit and smiled at her lover, De Lorge quickly leaped among the lions, retrieved the glove, and, upon returning, threw the glove back at her, demonstrating his bravery but also his disapproval of her vanity.

PASSAGE-4 She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;
He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:
The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,
Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady’s face.
“By God!” said Francis, “rightly done!” and he rose from where he sat:
“No love,” quoth he, “but vanity, sets love a task like that.”

(i) Who were watching the lion fight? How was the fight going on?

Answer: King Francis, his courtiers, and the nobility were watching the lion fight, which was intense and fierce, with lions demonstrating their wild nature and strength.

(ii) What idea struck De Lorge’s beloved? How did she put it into practice?

Answer: The idea that struck De Lorge’s beloved was to test her lover’s love by dropping her glove into the pit with the lions to see if he would retrieve it. She put it into practice by actually dropping her glove and looking at him expectantly.

(iii) What could have happened to De Lorge?

Answer: De Lorge could have been attacked and possibly killed by the lions when he jumped into the pit to retrieve the glove, highlighting the dangerous nature of the task.

(iv) Comment on De Lorge’s reaction when he came back safe from the pit.

Answer: De Lorge’s reaction upon returning safely was one of anger and disapproval; he threw the glove at the lady’s face, signaling his realization that her request was motivated by vanity, not love.

(v) What no one else but De Lorge understand at the end?

Answer: At the end, De Lorge alone understood that the task set by his beloved was not a test of love but an act of vanity, meant to attract attention rather than express genuine affection.

Additional/Extra questions and answers

1. Who was watching the lions fight?

Answer: King Francis was watching the lions fight. He is described as a “hearty king” who loved these kinds of royal sporting events and spectacles. As the lions battled in the arena below, King Francis sat above observing the violent entertainment, surrounded by his assembled nobles and elegant ladies.

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29. How did the lions behave in the fighting pit?

Answer: The lions rampaged and roared aggressively in the fighting pit, viciously biting and clawing at one another. They wrestled forcefully, filling the arena with flying sand and tangled manes in a deafening, chaotic frenzy.

Additional/Extra MCQs

1. What is King Francis described as at the start of the poem?

A. A serious king B. A friendly king C. A hearty king D. A weary king

Answer: C. A hearty king

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30. Why does the poet describe the lions’ “horrid laughing jaws”?

A. For comedy B. For horror C. For cuteness D. For clarity

Answer: B. For horror

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