Could you please name some metaphors in ''The Happy Prince'' by Oscar Wilde?I am writing a term paper on this topic, so it would be really helpful if you could provide me with the answer.

Expert Answers
jmj616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As I'm sure you know, a metaphor is a comparison that does not use the word "like" or "as."  What is interesting is that there are hardly any metaphors at all in Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince."  Plenty of similes: "As beautiful as a weathercock," "He looks just like an angel,"  "his hands are like withered leaves," "They have eyes like green beryls," etc., etc.  But very few metaphors.  In fact, the only one I could locate is:  

So he [the Swallow] flew round and round her, touching the water with his wings, and making silver ripples.

The ripples are not actually made of silver, of course. They merely look like silver, so this is a metaphor.

Is there any significance to the fact that the author chose to use similes rather than metaphors?  I think not.  What do you think?


jmj616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Interesting thought about the use of similes rather than metaphors.  I always say: Whatever I don't know, my students probably do.

unairsa | Student

Thank you so much! I am just a little bit confused because I am working on all fairy tales by O.W.  When I was searchin for metaphorsn in ''The Happy Prince'' I could not belive that there is only one metaphor. So I decides to post this question.

I think the use of similes shows that the tales are suitable for children, because it would be hard for them to understand metaphors.