Literature Study GuidesThe Happy Prince

The Happy Prince | Study Guide

Oscar Wilde

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(Course Hero, 2020)



Course Hero. "The Happy Prince Study Guide." July 18, 2020. Accessed July 5, 2022.


Course Hero, "The Happy Prince Study Guide," July 18, 2020, accessed July 5, 2022,



Oscar Wilde

Year Published



Short Story



Perspective and Narrator

"The Happy Prince" is told by a third-person unnamed narrator watching a prince's life, death, and rise to heaven. While alive the Happy Prince never knew sorrow until he became a statue overlooking the town outside his palace.


"The Happy Prince" was written in the past tense and is narrated by a third-person omniscient narrator.

About the Title

The title "The Happy Prince" comes from the nickname that people within a palace give their prince. The Happy Prince is constantly happy because he never leaves the walled palace. He never sees the pain and suffering of the people in the town until he becomes a golden and jeweled statue overlooking the poor townspeople. His nickname speaks volumes to the difference between the upper ruling class and the poor working class in the late Victorian era. It is an allegory or a literary tool that uses abstract or fictional characters to represent spiritual or real-world problems or issues. Wilde shows the staunch differences in the ways the classes lived and how religion and the heart of one royal boy can open to help others.


This study guide for Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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