What are the qualities of Edward in The Prince and the Pauper?

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Prince Edward is an interesting character. On the simplest level, he moves from being the spoiled son of a king, arrogant and used to having his own way, to becoming a humbler, more compassionate person who understands what it is like to be poor and powerless.

But the seeds of...

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Prince Edward is an interesting character. On the simplest level, he moves from being the spoiled son of a king, arrogant and used to having his own way, to becoming a humbler, more compassionate person who understands what it is like to be poor and powerless.

But the seeds of a good soul are inside Edward from the start. They have simply been stifled by the deficits of being a very privileged, sheltered, and important person.

Edward knows he is missing out because of his insular existence. He is a curious person from the start and wants to know what it is like to be an ordinary boy, which is why he changes places with Tom.

Yet when he finds that his position has been stripped from him, he reacts with anger, assuming Tom has deliberately stolen his throne. He decides he will execute Tom when he regains his rightful position--but even here, shows his capacity for kindness in that his first impulse is to allow Tom "a reasonable time for spiritual preparation."

It is only then that Tom will:

be hanged, drawn, and quartered, according to the law and usage of the day, in cases of high treason.

After his experiences living without power, money, or prestige, however, Edward changes. When he regains his position, he protects Tom and shows his growth and maturity by not forgetting what he has learned about the plight of ordinary people. "I shall remember," he says, and he does.

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