How has Edward's experience as a pauper influenced him in The Prince and the Pauper?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

“What dost thou know of suffering and oppression? I and my people know, but not thou.”

The statement by King Edward VI summarized his experience as a pauper, and how the incident influenced him. After he was thrown out of the royal court, Edward ended up mingling with some local boys. The boys made fun of him, and he was determined to improve their lives by getting them an education when he ascended the throne. Edward also met with other individuals who had suffered great ills at the hands of their tormentors, and he planned to make things right. Edward got an opportunity to live among his people and understand their challenges and suffering. He was made aware of issues and circumstances that would otherwise be hidden from him given his status and the protection of the royal court. His exposure to the reality of the lives of his people helped him develop care and compassion towards his subjects, which made him an agreeable king.

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The Prince and the Pauper

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