What is the plot of "The Young King" by Oscar Wilde?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The young king was only 16 years old when hunters found him in the forest.  He had been born to the Princess and given to a poor woman in the woods to raise him. “When the young king is plucked from the obscurity of the forest to take his rightful place at the palace, he is happy at first to see the beautiful things he has to wear. But after he dreams of the poor people, struggling to make the clothes and even dying to get the jewels, he does not want them anymore.”  Yet, his subjects only want to have a king who looks like a king.  When the young king arrives at his coronation wearing Sheppard’s clothing, the people storm the castle and shout, “‘where is this King, who is appareled like a beggar - this boy who brings shame upon our state? Surely we will slay him, for he is unworthy to rule over us.”  The young king kneeled and prayed then, “through the painted windows came the sunlight streaming upon him, and the sunbeams wove round him a tissued robe that was fairer than the robe that had been fashioned for his pleasure. The dead staff blossomed, and bare lilies that were whiter than pearls. The dry thorn blossomed, and bare roses that were redder than rubies. Whiter than fine pearls were the lilies, and their stems were of bright silver. Redder than male rubies were the roses, and their leaves were of beaten gold.” The people kneeled and honored their new king who was crowned by one greater than man.