Plot Summary, Characters and action, Theme, Symbolism, and Moral of ‘The Happy Prince’
High over the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. It was an amazing statue and was extremely respected indeed. The statue of Happy Prince looked simply like an angel. One night there flew over the city a little swallow. His companions had left to Egypt a month and a half before however, he had remained behind, for he has an adoration for a most excellent reed. Throughout the day it flew and during the evening time, he arrived at the city.
There he saw a statue on a tall saw. He landed just between the feet of the Happy Prince. As he was going to sleep a huge drop of water fell on him. He gazed upward and saw the eyes of the Happy Prince filled with tears. The Happy Prince told the swallow that he didn’t have an inkling what tears were, for he lived in the royal palace. So he lived and passed on and the people set him at the tall column wherefrom can see all the misery and ugliness of the city. Swallow promised to live on with Happy Prince. Little swallow did persistently whatever Happy Prince directed.
She helped the poor mother with ruby from the top of Happy Prince’s sword. Then helped the young fellow completing his play for the theatre with the valuable sapphire, that was, Happy Princ’s eye and after this, he provided the little match girl with another sapphire from his second eye. The little swallow could not perform such work anymore as Happy Prince has turned absolutely blind. But the Prince insisted him to continue the job. The Prince told the little swallow please help the hungry and poor people. He said, “I am secured with gold; you should take it off leaf by leaf and offer it to the needy people.” The little swallow removed the gold leaf by leaf, till the prince looked very dull and grey.
Time passed by, and the swallow realized he was going to die. Swallow says goodbye to the Happy Prince and died at his feet. The heart of Happy Prince made out of lead split. God sent his blessed messenger to acquire the two most valuable things in the city. Angel carried them to Heaven.
The characters and actions of ‘The Happy Prince’
“The Happy Prince” is a fairy tale Oscar Wilde wrote for two sons but its humane value goes far beyond the fairy world of children. The story develops sympathy for the poor and makes people look back on their attitude towards people in and around them. All the good actions of the Happy Prince are so worthy and it deserves respect and admiration. The characters set around Happy Prince are the little Swallow, the poor Mother, the Little Match Girl, and the Playwright. The Happy Prince’s actions of helping the poor indeed, are noteworthy. Without the sword hilt, the seamstress’s sun may die a fever. His immediate and valuable gift of sapphire to the playwright to buy food and firewood and escape from hunger shows Happy Prince’s deep sympathy towards the playwright.
Happy Prince prevents the poor little Match Girl from being beaten by his father as she has dropped all the matches in the dirty street and has spoiled them. With the help of the remaining sapphire from his body, Happy Prince was not hesitant to strip himself off all the gold leaves to save the children from hunger and cold.
Here, one finds men and women who love those who robe them or beat them, as though the soul were intoxicated by its discovery of human nature, or found even a secret delight in the shattering of the image of his desire. It is as though it cried, “I would be possessed by” or “I would possess that which is humane: what do I care if it is good or bad?”
There is no “disillusionment”, for they have found that which they have sought, but that which they have sought and found is a fragment.