The main character in the short story “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde is the Happy Prince. The Swallow is also an important character worth mentioning. The Happy Prince is a statue of a former prince who used to live in a secluded palace. The Swallow is only in passing through the Happy Prince’s city, on his way to Egypt. 

The two main characters appear to be allegoric representations of friendship, selflessness and charity. Ironically, they are outcasts of society and disregarded by the officials of the city. However, they are rewarded in death, as God values their good deeds.

The Town Councilors and the Mayor also appear in the story. Their purpose is to show how society can be superficial sometimes, valuing appearance over good acts. The Reed, the Swallow’s love interest, highlights the Swallow’s initial superficial nature and the change the character undergoes.

You can read a full characterization of the Happy Prince and the Swallow in the following pages.

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