The Prince and the Pauper Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the plot of The Prince and the Pauper?

The plot of The Prince and the Pauper revolves around two boys with identical appearances who change roles in life. Tom is a pauper with an abusive alcoholic father. Edward is the son of the King of England. After exchanging clothes, Edward is mistakenly expelled from his palace and faces the ills of poverty. Tom must deal with the duties of a prince. In the end, their identities are revealed and all is rectified.

Expert Answers info

JJ Botta, J.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Seton Hall University

bookM.A. from California State University

bookJ.D. from New York Law School


calendarEducator since 2020

write187 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Law and Politics, and History

Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper is the tale of two innocent young boys trapped in their individual worlds. Each boy dreams about what it would be like to live the lifestyle of the other. The author uses their adventures to satirize social injustices.

As the story unfolds, two boys are born on the same day in London. Tom Canty is born into poverty and Edward Tudor is born into royalty as the Prince of Wales:

In the ancient city of London, on a certain autumn day in the second quarter of the sixteenth century, a boy was born to a poor family of the name of Canty, who did not want him. On...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1,248 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University


calendarEducator since 2014

write6,209 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,689 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ian Chege eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write287 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pnhancock eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write209 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial