The Happy Prince is the beautiful statue of an adolescent Prince, who rises on a city with a medieval touch on the English port. The Prince, whose eyes are two sapphires, and top of his sword shines a beautiful ruby, was, while he lived, a happy person, but now from the pedestal he contemplates for the first time the miseries of the city where he reigned. A swallow- initial symbol of the inconsistency- on a winter trip to Egypt, stys in the statue for the night, and the Prince crying begs her to stay with him one more night (and soon another one) to help him to remedy the much poverty that sees. Taking the ruby of the sword, the sapphires of the eyes, and the gold laminae, finally, that cover the Prince’s body, the swallow dies of cold, after she helped a seamstress mother whose son’s ill, to a young poet who works in conditions of beggar and to a young girl who sells matches, among others…
In the end, the councillors of the city will think about demolishing such an ugly statue. There is, very clearly, a party taking in which the aesthetic is usefull and has a social function. The beauty of the Prince and the swallow helped to remedy the pain, and the aesthetic evocations that the bird does from Egypt, beyond giving color to the story, have been a resistance point between both poles of the story: the happy life of the South and the humble and needy life of the North, and how the first one must help to second one. The egoism, beauty and happiness – great values in Wilde’s cosmovisión- are seen now like ways to solve poverty.
Courtney from Study Moose
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