The Happy Prince


Oscar Wilde

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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 in order to wait for the Reed. However, all his friends disapprove due to her poverty and having so many relations. She decides not to travel with the Sparrow, which ends their relationship and drives him away to the town where he meets the Happy Prince. However brief, this romance sets the stage for the romantic love between the Sparrow and the Prince. The ill-fated love between the Reed and the Sparrow also introduces the theme of judging falsely by appearances and the negativity of gossip and peer judgment.
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The Reed Character Timeline in The Happy Prince

The timeline below shows where the character The Reed appears in The Happy Prince. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Happy Prince
Beauty and Morality Theme Icon
Love and Compassion Theme Icon
...on his way to Egypt. He had been delayed after falling in love with a Reed, attracted to her slender waist and gracefulness. When she wouldn’t accompany his travels, the Swallow... (full context)