Critical Criticism Of The Happy Prince

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“The Happy Prince” was first published in 1888. Written by Oscar Wilde, it was one of five short stories contained in a collection called The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Wilde wrote it for his children; however, I think it’s a universal story that can appeal to anyone no matter the age. The story follows a relationship between the title character and a Swallow. When he was alive, the Happy Prince lived in a palace, ignorant and unaware of the suffering of the people living outside the palace walls. His life was full of joy and fun, he thought he was happy. Then, after his death, his statue covered with gold, embellished with sapphire eyes and with a ruby in the sword hilt was placed on a tall column for everyone to admire. From this high…show more content…
In view of Wilde living in the Victorian England, which was experiencing the same inequity, I think “The Happy Prince” is an allegory and a metaphor of the British social system where poor starved to death while rich drowned in money. On one hand, Oscar Wilde addresses the issue of social injustice and critics on the society that can be cruel and heartless. On the other, he presents a compelling story about kindness, compassion, selflessness, sacrifice, devotion and power of love. This contemporary fairytale is showing how important it is to help one another and to not be ignorant to other’s suffering or problems. Both main characters develop feelings for each other on the basis of their good intensions and actions. I wish all my relationships had at least similar foundations to the ones the Happy Prince and the Swallow had in theirs. Finally, I have to admit that while reading it the ending of the story felt a bit unnecessary to me. The story ends with God asking one of his Angles to bring him two of the most precious things in the city and when he brings the Prince’s heart and the dead Swallow, God tells him he made the right choice. At last they both will be rewarded with an eternal
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