Oscar Wilde Questions and Answers

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What are some literary devices in The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde?

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In the short story “The Happy Prince,” Oscar Wilde uses many literary devices to create a fairytale that shows how generosity and compassion can alleviate sadness, illness, and poverty, even in a materialistic world.

One literary device is the simile, which links and compares two disparate images with “like” or “as.” For example, the town admires the gorgeous and ornate statue of the Happy Prince so much that one person states that he is “as beautiful as a weathercock.” Children spot him and exclaim that he “looks just like an angel.” Later, a Swallow describes lions that have “eyes like green beryls.” After the Happy Prince brings prosperity and happiness to the town, the streets appear “as if they were made of silver.” The winter may be cold, but it creates jewel-like beauty in town with “long icicles like crystal daggers” that form on and dangle from the houses’ roofs.

Another literary device is the metaphor , which compares two very different images by...

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