British Literature

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Date Submitted: 12/12/2011 06:28 AM

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Q: The Nightingale and the rose contains a main character that undergoes the hardship. How does Oscar Wilde sympathise with the Nightingale?


“The Nightingale and the Rose” contains a character that undergoes hardship. Oscar Wilde makes us sympathise with the Nightingale by clever use of situation and language. “The Nightingale and the rose” is set in a fairytale style genre; this also helps create sympathy for the Nightingale.


 In “The Nightingale and the Rose”, the Student needs a red rose because “If I bring her a red rose she will dance with me till dawn. If I bring her a red rose, I shall hold her in my arms” this shows us that the student desires to be with her, and really wants a red rose. “But there is no red rose in my garden” this creates sympathy for the student because he wishes to be with her but without a red rose she shall not go with him to the dance. The Nightingale overhears the student speaking, and feels he is a “true lover”, the Nightingale believes the student is a true romantic and believes in true love. The nightingale feels sympathy for the student and goes to find him a red rose. The nightingale must sacrifice her own life for a red rose. The nightingale thinks and decides that “love is better than life, and what is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man”. This shows that the nightingale is a kind-hearted bird and is willing to sacrifice her own life for true love. This creates more sympathy because the reader feels sorrow for the nightingale.


In “The Nightingale and the Rose”, the Nightingale is the main character. The Nightingale is a likeable character, she is unselfish, kind, nice, she is self-sacrificing and she is a true believer of true love. This creates more sympathy because when she sacrifices herself it makes us sad because she was such a kind creature.


The Student is another main character in the story. At the beginning of the story we feel sympathy for the student as...