The Pied Piper of Hamelin is written in third person narration, different to Prophyria’s lover, because the narrator is not the protagonist. The person narrating the poem is Omniscient and he is relevant with the town and aware of everything. Everything that he tells us we believe, we do not challenge his knowledge. The Poem is very simple, because it is supposedly a “child’s story” and the Structure is irrelevant, with some stanzas long and some short. The story follows a normal introduction, body and conclusion.
The first stanza sets the scene and tells us that the poem is set 500 years before it was written by Robert Browning and it is based in Hamelin Town, Germany. We also find out that this town suffered from vermin, with the people of the town overcome by rats. The importance of the poem is honesty and truthfulness.
The main focus of the poem is on the Pied Piper. The city is in a crisis and when this stranger turns up in “his queer long coat from heel to head”, no one believes that this man will be able to deliver.
Based on his appearance he is not your typical hero, especially when he was “tall and thin” with “a gipsy coat of red and yellow”. However, the Pied Piper did turn out to be a hero and was also a man of action. He said he would get rid of the rats and he went straight to them and killed them, straight to the point.
He did not mess up at all and let a few rats get away, there was only one rat who survived, with that one going off to tell other rats what had happened. The strange thing about the Pied Piper is that he just appeared.
How did he know that Hamelin needed his help? He came and saved the day without anyone asking him. The Pied Piper is very polite and well mannered, he did not come boasting, he just got on with the job he was set. The talent he has is very special, only having to play “three shrill notes” to make all of the rats go away, make the kids follow him and turn the adults of the town into “blocks of wood”.
The Politicians and Town People of Hamelin are corrupt, only worrying about their money. When everything was going wrong the for the Town, the Mayor was nowhere to be seen, but when the rats were gone, the Mayor came out and took all of the praise. We can tell that the Mayor is very desperate because he does not even know who this stranger is and he relys on him to do the job. If the Pied Piper would not have showed up, who would have fixed the problem? Considering the amount that the Pied Piper wanted for the job he did, the Politicians and Town People were ungrateful. If he had not turned up, they would still be in the mess they was in before with all the rats but the Pied Piper has come and cleared it up for them in a short amount of time. When the Pied Piper took away the children, they was an element of regret because he had taken away their futures but it was too little too late.
The Children from the poem represent innocent victims for the punishement. Why do the children have to suffer for the faults of their parents and Politicians. You could also say that the Children are not targeted and rather that they were saved. They weren’t asked to go with the Pied Piper, they just went. We can see the Pied Piper as a father figure and he was there to save their souls. The kids were not dragged away, they came “tripping and skipping” and “ran merrily after the wonderful music”. The only thing you can criticise the Pied Piper about is leaving the disabled child behind. He could not make it too the hill because he “could not dance the whole of the way”. The disabled child was sad about this for the rest of his life because he felt like he missed out, he was not happy that he stayed, he wanted to go. The rats reflect human nature in the poem. They are killing, fighting, interupting, stealing and biting babies. They are ruthless. Man cannot control fate, we are vunerable just like the rats.
A main theme in the play is greed. We see this by the Town’s People and the Politicians.They are dishounourable and lowered their reputation. The Mayor wanted to spend the money on “Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;” which were expensive wines that they could use for the “council dinners”. The lesson to be learnt here is to do what you say and stay true to your word. Another theme is consequences. Behaviour will determine fate. The adults thought they could get away with it and the Mayor brushed aside the Pied Pipers powers by saying “Do your worst, Blow your pipe there till you burst”, not knowing the full potential of the pipe. The consequence of messing with the Pied Piper was the worst case scenario for the adults, taking away their kids and not being able to do anything about it or know where they will be for the rest of their lifes. Good vs Evil is another theme that we see in this play, with good always winning in the end.
We see Pyschological Reader Manipulation in the poem with the reader automatically liking the Pied Piper for doing the job he was hired to do. The reader could have their own opinion on the Pied Piper in the end because he does various things that could make the reader dislike him, like leaving the disabled child behind or taking the innocent children away. We also see Dramatic Irony because the Mayor does not know what he is getting himself into by messing with the Pied Piper but we had seen his powers before with the rats, so we immediately knew that the Mayor was leading a bad path. The poem had a happy ending but not for everyone. The ending was only happy for the children, the rats were killed, the Town’s People had their children taken away and there was a forever lasting sadness in the town of Hamelin, being constantly reminded of the day the Pied Piper came.
The subtitle of the poem, “A Child’s Story” does reflect the poem overall because there are lessons to be learn from the Town’s People. If the poem was read to a child, it would have to be explained to them, to show them the true meaning of it. Even though an adult would read the poem to them, they would still feel the suspense of what is going to happen next and could visualise the setting of the poem. On the other hand the poem has parts of it that are not really suitable for a child, corruption, rats killing humans and general stuff that would not really be seen in a childs story.