Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Happy Prince: Introduction
The Happy Prince: Plot Summary
The Happy Prince: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Happy Prince: Themes
The Happy Prince: Quotes
The Happy Prince: Characters
The Happy Prince: Symbols
The Happy Prince: Literary Devices
The Happy Prince: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Oscar Wilde
Historical Context of The Happy Prince
Other Books Related to The Happy Prince
- Full Title: The Happy Prince
- When Written: 1880s
- Where Written: London, England
- When Published: 1888
- Literary Period: Victorian Literature, Aestheticism
- Genre: Children’s Literature, Fairy Tale
- Setting: An unnamed town
- Climax: The Swallow and Prince kiss before the Swallow perishes from cold, and the Prince’s lead heart cracks.
- Antagonist: Poverty, Inequality
- Point of View: Third person omniscient
Extra Credit for The Happy Prince
The Happy Prince. Rupert Everett directed a biographical drama about the life of Oscar Wilde (whom he also played in the film), which was released in 2018. The film focuses on the final, tragic years of Wilde’s life, when he lived in exile after being convicted for “gross indecency” due to his homosexuality. As in the story, the name “The Happy Prince” therefore bears a strong irony.
Kiss of Death. Oscar Wilde is buried in a tomb decorated with a Sphinx in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Every year, fans of his work and life flock to his grave to leave lipstick-kisses on the tomb—although a glass barrier added by the government in 2011 makes that practice perhaps prohibitive.