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Fairy Tales

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We can find many similes and metaphors in this story; these expressions are not conventional, but are unique and interesting. This story was written more than a hundred years ago and although the style of this story is a little bit old-fashioned, some new and unique ideas were expressed here. I suppose that Wilde might have chosen an unusual use of similes and metaphors to present his particular ideas. In the underlined part [2], the Happy Prince is described as follows: "He is as beautiful as a weathercock." A weathercock is simply an instrument that indicates direction and it is not suitable for expressing the marvelousness of the Happy Prince. In addition, the word "weathercock" is usually used in such expressions as, "as changeable as a weathercock," meaning "it turns around frequently like a weathercock" or "he changes his mind? often." When I apply this meaning to the situation in the Happy Prince, it seems to me that his viewpoint and mental state change frequently.

The Happy Prince was also compared to an angel, which sounds a bit strange to me. (See the underlined part [3] below.)

[3] "He looks just like an angel" said the charity children as they came out of the cathedral in their scarlet cloaks and their clean white pinafores.

"How do you know?" said the Mathematical Master, "you have never seen one."

"Ah! but we have, in our dreams,"? answered the children; and the Mathematical Master frowned and looked very severe, for he did not approve of children dreaming.

Many poetical expressions can be seen in this story because Wilde used to write poems during his university days. First, I would like to call your attention to the underlined part [1].

Wilde did not use such commonplace expressions as "Once upon a time, there was a happy prince," or "There was once the statue of the Happy Prince...." Instead of using these expressions, he placed an impressive adverbial phrase unexpectedly at the beginning of the story, and tried to emphasize that the statue of the Happy Prince was standing up high and was beautiful.

In addition, we should take note of couplets such as: "So I lived, so I died (P.6)." ?These couplets are simultaneously rhymed, and pleasing to the ear.

[1] High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt. He was very much admired indeed.

[2] "He is as beautiful as a weathercock," remarked one of the Town Councillors who wished to gain a reputation for having artistic tastes; "only not quite so useful," he added, fearing lest people should think him unpractical, which he really was not.



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