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The Groom

Figure Analysis

Ah, the groom: the stud of the show. He's not as prominent in the text as the bride, but he's the other half of this inseparably infatuated dynamic duo. After all, it takes two to tango.

Based on the bride's descriptions, you'd think the guy was Superman: "Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills" (2:8). In case that wasn't enough for you, the next verse gives him the distinctions of "gazelle" and "stag." Basically, this dude is a specimen of masculine animalism.

To add to his machoness, the groom is majorly assertive. Sure, the bride is the one writing everything down, but in her version of events, he's the one who came to get her. This tension—that the bride has the power of authorship but the groom still has to sweep her off her feet—has prompted many feminist discussions about the poem.

But don't get the wrong idea. Our guy isn't just macho—like all good male heroes, he also has a sensitive side. In Chapter 4, he waxes poetic about how awesome his ladyfriend is, declaring that "You have ravished my heart with a glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace" (4:9). Sure, this sounds a little shallow to us: the man is attracted by the woman's beauty and outfit, not by her personality or intellect. On the other hand, though, he's kind of surrendering himself to the bride and giving power to the female gaze.

All of these insightful thoughts might be a little anachronistic to us. But the point is, you can get a lot out of one single line of text. And either interpretation adds to what we know about the groom's masculinity.