Summary of The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

The story deals with a prince who had everything in life and had never seen any sorrow in his life.

As with all mortals, one day the prince died. The people around him were deeply in grief and extremely unhappy. They made a statue of him in lead and decked it with various jewels. Blue jewels were fixed in his eyes. The statue was kept over a pillar so that everyone could see him and remember him.

One day a swallow came to visit the place and settled between the feet of the statue. At night, when the swallow was asleep, a drop fell on his head when the swallow looked up, he saw

that the statue of the prince was shedding tears. The swallow too became sad.

When the swallow asked the prince ‘why are you crying, my dear?”, the Prince answered, ‘I have seen everything happy in my life but here I am seeing that somebody is unhappy and sad.

The swallow was surprised and asked him the reason. The prince told him about the poor woman at a far off place who did not have money to buy food and medicines for her sick son. The prince removed the jewels on his sword requested the swallow to give it to the woman. The woman became happy.

When the swallow asked the prince why he was not feeling cold. The prince replied that he got warmth from the good deed.

As winter came, the swallow wanted to fly to a warm place to his family members. When he wanted to bid good bye the prince requested him for a few more tasks to be done. One by one the prince gave out all the jewels and also all the pieces of cloth on his body to help the needy – the poor writer, the matchbox girl and so on.

A day came when the prince looked bare, ugly and shabby. The little swallow did not leave his side, to help him. Then the snow came. The swallow grew colder and his end drew near. The prince bid goodbye. The swallow died, but something also, broke inside the prince. It was his heart.

One day the mayor and the councilors saw the condition of the statue and the dead bird. The removed the statue and made a statue of the mayor using the lead. The heart could not be melted. So they threw the prince’s heart and the dead swallow in a dust heap.

God saw this and ordered his angels to bring the two most precious things from the town. They brought the broken heart and the dead swallow. God said ‘you are right’

It said that the bird lives with God in Eden and the happy prince is always known in the name of God.

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