The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

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Why was the happy Prince weeping in "The Happy Prince"?

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The Happy Prince is weeping because of all the ugliness and misery he can see from his vantage point on top of the column where he stands in the town square.

As he explains to the swallow, when he was alive he never knew what tears were. Shut away inside...

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The Happy Prince is weeping because of all the ugliness and misery he can see from his vantage point on top of the column where he stands in the town square.

As he explains to the swallow, when he was alive he never knew what tears were. Shut away inside a beautiful palace, he never got to see the grinding poverty in which so many of the townsfolk live. But now that he can see what's really going on, he cannot help but weep, even though his heart is made of lead.

Now that he's aware of just how much misery there is in the town beneath him, the Happy Prince is determined to alleviate as much suffering as possible. So he instructs the swallow to take the gold leaf and precious stones from his statue and distribute them among some of the town's poorest people.

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