Literature / The Happy Prince
"The Happy Prince" is a fairy tale by Oscar Wilde
about a romantic swallow and the statue of a prince, who, after spending all his life in luxury, is turned into a statue who watches all the misery outside his palace.
It's currently in public domain, and can be read in full here
This tale provides examples of the following tropes:
- But Now I Must Go: Subverted. Happy Prince doesn't let the Swallow go despite the later's repeated remarks.
- Died Happily Ever After: "for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me."
- Double Entendre: The description of the Reed is full of these.
- Friend to All Living Things: Happy Prince oversees human's suffering and sympathizes for them all.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Happy Prince sacrifice all his gold leaves. The Swallow helps him delivering them to death as he can't stand the cold weather. And nobody finds them of any value afterward.
- Humans Are Flawed: Given Wilde's sarcastic tone seen in the descriptions of the human characters. Also provoked in the end where the humans do not acknowledge Happy Prince's sacrifices and see him as an old, ugly statue decorated with a dead swallow, all while the readers know what's really going on.
- Interspecies Romance: The swallow is in love with a reed plant early in the story.
- In Love with Love: The Swallow.
- Ironic Name:
"Who are you?" [The Swallow] said.
"I am the Happy Prince."
"Why are you weeping then?"
- Samaritan Syndrome: The Happy Prince can't abide seeing people in misery when he can sacrifice the precious jewels and metals he's made of to help them get out of their poverty.
- Stealth Pun: The description of the reed, which is full of double entendres about plants
[...]The Reed shook her head, she was so attached to her home.
- Spoiled Sweet: Happy Prince's back story is depicted as an absolute happy person who knows no sadness and hardship, and retain his kindness even after death.
- Take That!: Toward human teachers, philosophers, and those who are attached to logic and judge things by the covers.
- Talking Animal: The Swallow.
- The Seer: Happy Prince