The Happy Prince Morality

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The short story THE HAPPY PRINCE is one of the several well-known fairy tales written by Oscar Wilde in 1888. Oscar Wilde was an Irish-born English poet, novelist, and playwright, who was considered an eccentric, as he was the leader of the aesthetic movement that advocated “art for art’s sake”. Oscar Wilde is deeply influenced by his mentor John Ruskin and it is clearly seen in this story “The Happy Prince” as it deals with the appreciation of the social value of art. He was once imprisoned for two years with hard labour for homosexual practices. Thus the implications of homosexuality, Paterian aesthetic and religious connotations are clearly found if one delves into the context behind the colourful imagery of his fairy tales, this has often…show more content…
About the story:
“The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde is a marvellous allegory, that has many themes associated with it, the main ones being ‘Love and Sacrifice’, ‘Materialism’ and ‘Charity’, depending upon the style of reading one has and the detail one wants to go, several other themes like kindness begets kindness, arts are for arts sake, and Christian undertones can be found, as they are present in many Oscar Wilde stories. The theme of love and sacrifice is clearly evident as the happy prince sacrificed his sight and beauty for the welfare of the people in the city as he gives away the sapphires in his eyes for so that the young man can finish his play, and to help match girl avoid beatings from his father for accidentally dropping them in gutter. He sacrifices his beauty as he gives away all his golden feathers to help the homeless children who are starving at the other side of the bridge. Love is one of the themes as the bird who initially thinks that
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In the beginning of the story it is shown that the statue of happy prince is very beautiful and is admired by everyone one in the village for its mere superficial beauty though it is not useful in anyway, it is said to be useful for its aesthetic beauty. The swallow is also shown to be one of the rare birds in the city in that particular season and is considered as a remarkable phenomenon by the professor of ornithology. The author clearly portrays the materialistic nature of the people in the society through their reactions when they receive gifts from the happy prince. Everybody the boy, the playwright, the matchgirl and the children disregard the beauty of the gifts (the precious gems and gold from the happy prince) and look only at the monetary value associated with them, taking them for granted without wondering where they come from. Thus they disregard charity as they ignored the benefactor. In the end when the statue loses its superficial beauty and when the bird dies, the mayor and other councillors take down the statue and remove the carcass of the bird, thus fail to recognise their real beauty. But when the sends his angels to bring the most valuable things in the city, they bring the heart of the happy prince and the dead bird, they are deemed as
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