The Happy Prince Characters by Oscar Wilde

The Prince

The Prince is a changed man as a dead statue. He is more alive to the misery of his people even as a lifeless statue. He wants to help them through the lavish decorations of his statue.

He meets the Swallow and recruits it to execute his plan for helping others. During the process, he develops affection for the bird and confesses his love. In the end, he suffers from a broken heart when he sees his beloved Swallow die right in front of his eyes.

The City People

This includes a young girl selling goods on the street, an old woman unable to survive on her meager means, old Jewish men arguing with each other and the orphans who harassed by guards.

The Divine and the Envoy

God appears at the end of the story. Rewarding the true nature of the bond between the Prince and Swallow, God allows them the riches of Paradise. There is also an angel who is tasked to collect the two most prized objects from the city.

He chooses the Prince’s heart and his friend’s body as they represent an invaluable bond of affection and empathy.

The Swallow

Swallow is a symbol of love and sacrifice. It leaves its family’s trip to warm Egypt in order to follow his heart’s desire for a reed. Destroyed by Reed’s betrayal, it finds the Prince’s statue and builds a strong bond with it.

He learns about the Prince’s qualities and his worries for others. It develops empathy and slowly finds love. It helps the Prince by distributing its gemstones to the people in need.

In the end, Swallow decides to stay with the Prince nad ends up sacrificing its life. It does not survive the winter cold and dies right beside its paramour.