Give a Character Sketch of Poet and Snake from Class 10 Communicative English Chapter 11(Poem) Snake


Character Sketch of Poet (D H Lawrence)

The poet does dual attitude towards the snake. His natural instinctive reaction is that of awe. He is fascinated by the snake’s movements. He also feels honoured and a streak of friendly bonding with the snake. But the voice of human education prompts him to kil it, as it was poisonous and hence harmful, it must be finished.

He has been described as an epitome of human civilisation. He represents the conflict of human mind and how ethics are sometimes overpowered by civil and corrupt minds of the society. The poet despises himself and calls his sin “pettiness” because he feels himself responsible for chasing away the snake with a stick. The three words to describe his action are: paltry, vulgar and mean. In the poem, the poet first treats him like a guest and calls him “like a god”. However, later, he is the same person who chases the snake away with a stick. The poet feels very sorry for his disgraceful, unacceptable and uncouth behaviour and action and rebuked the voices of education and civilisation that had shaped his thoughts and urged him to have chased away the creature.


Snake Overview – In this poem, the poet describes the conflict in his mind after he sees a snake in his water-trough. The snake is golden- brown in colour and as per the social education, it is poisonous and needs to be killed. But, due to his natural human instincts, the poet feels that it is a guest. It is thirsty and has thus come to drink water and so it will do no harm. Later, when after drinking the water, the snake is withdrawing in his black hole the poet throws a log of wood on him. This act of his is due to the social education that he has received through years. However, he regrets this act of his and decides that he shall give due honour to the snake if he comes again.



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Some Questions on Character Sketch of Poet

Q1. Why did the poet like a snake?
Q2. Why does the poet experience conflicting emotions on seeing the snake?
Q3. Why is the snake compared with a king by poet?


Character Sketch of Snake

The snake was golden-brown in colour which is considered to be venomous or poisonous in Sicily. (usually yellow-colored snakes refer to be poisonous). It had come from the depth of the brown earth. Very casually, fearlessly, it drank water, slowly sipping from the clearness of the water. It had a two-forked tongue that flickered. The snake has been described as yellow-brown sleak and soft-bellied. The poet looks upon the snake as a god because the latter is very unmindful and carefree about the lesser mortals like humans. The snake seems to be least bothered about the fact that the poet is waiting for is turn at the trough. He seems to rule like a god, his movement as graceful as him. It was a hot day, that is the day of the volcanic eruption from Mount Etna in Sicily.


Some Questions on Character Sketch of Snake

Q1. What are the qualities of the snake admired by the poet?
Q2. How does the poet convey the beauty of the snake?

Related: Snake Important Questions