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The Lesson of Love in Oscar Wildes The Happy Prince - Book Report/Review Example

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Oscar Wilde in his classic fairy tale "The Happy Prince" chisels a breathtakingly idealistic image of love, which sparkles with numerous facets to it, like a well-cut diamond. The author chooses the characters of a minuscule bird and a metal statue as the main protagonists of his tale, as though he seems to think that the sacramental sentiment he wants to portray is somehow beyond the capacity of human characters…
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The Lesson of Love in Oscar Wildes The Happy Prince
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Download file to see previous pages The tale is set in a European city, in the middle of which stands tall, the statue of a happy prince "gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt." and people admire him for his beauty and happy disposition. He remains just a beautiful, life-less and lonely statue till a small sparrow enters the city and thereby, his life. The sparrow for his part, is lonely too as he has been deserted by his friends, who flew away to Egypt and also disappointed in his love for the shallow Reed.
Both the happy prince and the swallow are in their own state of sadness and loneliness when they meet. The happy prince has led a pleasurable life but now stands as a statue, who is forced to witness the misery of the people of the city. He is even more saddened by his inability to wipe the tears of the unfortunate people all around him. As for the swallow, he is disillusioned as the Reed fails to reciprocate his sincerity.
Both the swallow and the happy prince are unaware that their coming together is going to add meaning to their existence-a meaning that the happy prince could not find when he was alive and a meaning that the swallow could not sense in his short liaison with the Reed. However, the very first time the swallow sets his eyes on the prince, he feels deep stirrings in his soul
"The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little Swallow was filled with pity."
At this point the happy prince has feelings only for the miserable people of the city and, it is only gradually that the swallow endears himself to the happy prince's heart. When the swallow starts helping the happy prince in his mission of rendering relief to the distressed, there builds a devout bonding between the two. After returning from his first commission set by the prince, the happy prince lets him get an idea of what the purpose of his life is.
Then the Swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had done. 'It is curious,' he remarked, 'but I feel quite warm now, although it is so cold.'
'That is because you have done a good action,' said the Prince
Every time the swallow starts his journey to join his friends the happy prince manages to dissuade him and begs him to help him one more time and every time the swallow yields to the prince's appeal, partly because of his fondness for the happy prince and partly because what the noble mission makes him feel. Finally, when the prince asks him to pluck his sapphire eye to help the writer, the swallow's compassion for the prince is clearly seen
"Dear Prince,' said the Swallow, 'I cannot do that;' and he began to weep."
When the prince goes blind after giving away even his second eye to help the poor match girl, the swallow comes to a decision to spend the rest of his life with the prince
'You are blind now,' he said, 'so I will stay with you always.'
The thought of a carefree life with his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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