These tales, heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time, hit me deeply. The generous Happy Prince and his faithful Swallow; the self-sacrificing Nightingale and the foolish Student; the selfish Giant reformed and redeemed - these little tales are among the most poignant ones I have ever read. Christian undertones are there, but readers of all faiths (or lack thereof) can benefit from the tales' messages: to have a heart of gold is to suffer, but to suffer for the sake of Love (capitalization intended) is true wisdom....Continua
Irresistible. They are all short writings yet totally memorable.
My favorite story is The Happy Prince. How could one still be happy after reading this poignant story?
I've always found it interesting that the phrase "fairy tale ending" is taken to mean a happy ending, when quite a lot of the fairy tales I remember reading when I was growing up tended to have rather darker elements to them, and often less-than-happy endings (at least until Disney got hold of them).
In The Happy Prince, and other stories, Wilde continues in that tradition of using darker undercurrents and bittersweet endings to make a moral point. A few of the stories have a common theme of sacrifices not being respected or learnt from, reflecting the fact that in the real-world things don't always end happily; the ending of my favourite story in the book, The Nightingale and the Rose, is particularly poignant.
The result is a collection of simple yet moving stories....Continua
The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little Swallow was filled with pity.
‘Who are you?’ he said.
‘I am the Happy Prince.’
‘Why are you weeping then?’ asked the Swallow; ‘you have quite drenched me.’
‘When I was alive and had a human heart,’ answered the statue, ‘I did not know what tears were, for I lived in the palace of Sans-Souci, where sorrow is not allowed to enter. In the daytime I played with my companions in the garden, and in the evening I led the dance in the Great Hall. Round the garden ran a very lofty wall, but I never cared to ask what lay beyond it, everything about me was so beautiful. My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead they have set me up here so high that I can see all the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot choose but weep.’