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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main character in "The Nightingale and the Rose" is the nightingale. He is contrasted with the protagonist of the story, which is the young student.

In any story, the main character is not always the protagonist. While the main character helps us understand the plot's rationale, it is the protagonist who actually realizes the goal of the story. For some protagonists, however, failure (rather than success) is the end result of all their efforts, just like in Wilde's story.

In "The Nightingale and the Rose," the protagonist's goal is to get a beautiful young woman to dance with him at the Prince's ball. Meanwhile, the main character, the nightingale, integrates philosophical reflections about love into his story of the young romantic.

In Wilde's tale, the nightingale dies a sacrificial death on the young student's behalf. The rose tree tells the nightingale that, since there are no red roses to be found, she must build the flower out of music by moonlight and darken it with her heart's blood. The nightingale does just this, and she dies with a thorn in her breast.

Essentially, the main character dies to demonstrate her conviction that love is greater than philosophy. Unfortunately, her sacrifice is of little help to our student protagonist. His beloved rejects his rose, leaving him to seek comfort in his books.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As the main title suggests, the nightingale is the main character of the short story The Nightingale and the Rose, by Oscar Wilde.

When we describe the role of the main character we often refer to the character who has undergone the most changes, and who has served as the target of the plot. It is often a round, or dynamic, character. It is also a character that helps move the plot forward.

One could confuse the Oxonian student as the main character because he is the one who proposes the problem of the story. However, his character is rather flat which means that it does not transition, grow, or change as a result of the different situations in that occur throughout the narrative.

Contrastingly, the nightingale offers his life as an ultimate sacrifice in the name of love, thinking that this would have made a difference in the life of the student. We know that his sacrifice is in vain, however, the gist of the story is this: It is always a worthy cause to us, and not necessarily to those around us, to sacrifice ourselves in the name of something that we hold deeply as a universal truth.

ruonramirez | Student

The main character is Nightingale :

The main character in literature oftenly influenced other characters in a story and also readers. It oftenly can be found in the first paragraph in a literary works and oftenly used as a title in literary works.