The Happy Prince
The Happy Prince is both the protagonist of this story and its namesake. Once a sheltered prince who led a life of pleasure, the Happy Prince was turned into a gilded statue upon his death… read analysis of The Happy Prince
The other protagonist of “The Happy Prince,” the Swallow, is a bird en route to Egypt for the winter. His trip is initially delayed due to his temporary passion for a Reed, foreshadowing to… read analysis of The Swallow
Although she appears relatively briefly in the story, the Reed still has an important role. The Sparrow initially falls in love with her for her slenderness and beauty and delays his migration to warmer territory… read analysis of The Reed
The Little Match-Girl
A young girl selling matches on a street corner whose father beats her if she does not return with sufficient money. Having dropped her matches, she appears to be in a tragic situation until the… read analysis of The Little Match-Girl
The Woman in the Poor House
A seamstress sewing passion-flowers on a satin gown for one of the Queen’s maids-of-honor. Too poor to purchase an orange for her ill son, this woman inspires the Happy Prince to give away the ruby from his sword-hilt.
A young man writing plays in his garret (an attic room with a hole in the roof). He struggles to combat cold and hunger until the Happy Prince gives up one of his sapphire eyes to help him.
Although he only appears at the very conclusion of the story, the Mayor’s narcissistic attitude epitomizes the problems of power. He wants the Happy Prince melted down and recast in his own image, and he wants to issue a proclamation banning birds from dying in public.
The Town Councillors
Often discussed in the collective, the Town Councillors represent the deepest corruption in this city. Obsessed with their reputations, they ignore anything that doesn’t appear beautiful or beneficial for their self-promotion.