What is the setting of the story "The Nightingale and The Rose" by Oscar Wilde?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Nightingale and The Rose" by Oscar Wilde is written in the style of a fairy tale or folk tale, meaning that it does not take place in an actual place but instead the setting and the characters are generic types. This means that we are intended to focus on the dynamics of the narrative itself and its moral and philosophical implications rather than on the characters as individuals or the settings as realistic places. 

The first section of the story is set in a garden where the student is searching for a red rose. He does not find one, but the nightingale overhears him and decides to help him. The nightingales flies around the garden and grove visiting their denizens. The student sleeps in his bedroom. The student next goes to the Professor's house where the rose is rejected, then he walks through a street, and returns to his room. 

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wilde's story has three settings: the student's garden, the doorway of his professor's house, and the student's room. Almost all of the story occurs in the garden, a place of quiet beauty. In the sunny garden are groves of trees, individual trees that play roles in the story, and a sundial. Also present are flowers, butterflies, and a small green lizard. Part of the story takes place at night, and the moon becomes part of the setting.

In the conclusion of the story, the student runs to see the girl he loves at her father's (his professor's) house. He finds her sitting in the doorway, her little dog at her feet. The only physical description of this setting is a reference to a gutter. The story ends in the student's room, which is not described, where he reads from "a great dusty book."

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a number of settings in "The Nightingale and the Rose." The first setting is the student's garden, the place in which he desperately searches for a red rose to give to the girl he loves. This is also the place where the nightingale sacrifices her life so that the student will have the rose he so desires.

Secondly, the story is also set in the professor's house. Once the student has the rose, he goes here to deliver it. The girl, however, is not impressed by the rose and tells the student that the Chamberlain's nephew has sent her a far more impressive gift: some real jewels.

Finally, after being rebuffed by the girl, the student retreats to the third setting: his bedroom. After realizing that love is an "impractical" matter, he digs out his books and starts reading.