What is the plot of "The Nightingale and the Rose" by Oscar Wilde?

1 Answer | Add Yours

parkerlee's profile pic

parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

A nightingale overhears a young student lament that he only needs a red rose to give to a girl he loves to win her heart. This cannot be done since it is not the season, but the nightingale finally founds roses but white ones. To make the young man's wish come true, she presses her breast against a thorn on the most beautiful white rose she can find and sings to allow a magical spell make the blood go from her heart into the rose. The nightigale manages to transform the white rose into a red one but dies by doing so. As things turn out, the girl in question does not appreciate the rose because another young man has offered her jewels instead (and they are a more expensive present). The student feels rejected but doesn't waste his time mourning his loss, but rather goes back to his books and lessons in philosopy. Nobody even thinks about the nightingale and the fact that she has sacrificed her life.

We’ve answered 317,542 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question