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The Nightingale and the Rose

In: English and Literature

Submitted By WSink1
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The Nightingale and the Rose
Whittney Sink
Fortis College
English 101
March 11, 2014

Have you ever been in true love, a love so deep that you would give your life for someone else to experience it? “The Nightingale and the Rose” by Oscar Wilde tells of just such a love. The short story is set in Europe around the late 1700’s to early 1800’s. Published in 1888, this short story is timeless. It is a tale of true selfless love and love unrequited. This story keeps the reader enthralled with the use of characters, point of view, and theme that are intended to play your heartstrings.
The Student is one of the main characters. He is a romantic figure. ‘“She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses,’ cried the young Student; ‘but in all my garden there is no red rose”’ (Wilde, 1888, para. 1). His heart belongs to a professor’s daughter, who has said she would dance with him if he brought her red roses. ‘“The Prince gives a ball to-morrow night,’ murmured the young Student, and my love will be of the company. If I bring her a red rose she will dance with me till dawn”’ (para. 5).
The Nightingale is the other main character. She is in awe of the love the Student feels for a girl. ‘“Here indeed is the true lover,’ said the Nightingale. ‘What I sing of, he suffers- what is joy to me, to him is pain. Surely, Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds and dearer than fine opals”’ (para. 6). The nightingale searches for a red rose in the garden, being turned away at each stop. “’One red rose is all I want,’ cried the Nightingale, ‘only one red rose! Is there no way by which I can get it’” (para. 27)? Because of her enthrallment with the students love, the nightingale is willing to sacrifice her life so he might have the girls love. “And when the Moon shone in the heavens the Nightingale flew to the Rose-tree, and set her breast…...

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