Summary of The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde.

The story “The Nightingale and the Rose” is written by OscarWilde. It was published in 1888 in a collection of children’s story named as The Happy Prince and the Other Tales. It narrates about a heroic sacrifice of a small bird purely for love and on behalf of a young student who represents the materialistic values in the society he lived.

The story begins with a young student who is lamenting in his garden because the love of his life. She will dance with him in the ball only if he brings her a red rose but there is no red rose in his garden.  The Nightingale, living in the oak-tree of his garden, hears the young man crying over his helplessness and lamenting on the fact that all his learning is useless since it cannot win him a girl’s love.  The nightingale comes to know that the young man is weeping for a red rose. She feels the pain of that boy and wants to help him.

The bird flies and goes to the various bushes but cannot find a red rose. Finally, she comes to know about a way of getting a red rose. She performs a suicidal act while singing with her heart pierced into the thorn, giving her heart’s blood to a white rose to turn it into a beautiful red rose. In this process the Nightingale dies.

When the student wakes up, he sees the red rose under his window, plucks it joyously and brings it to his love.  The girl rejects the rose by saying that it will not match her blue dress and someone else has brought her jewels that worth more than a rose. The boy throws the rose in the gutter and a cart runs over it. At the end he decides that logic is better than love that is unrealistic. He goes back to his home and starts reading a book.

Although this is a children’s story, Oscar Wilde raises the most common issues of materialism and idealism present in the conventional society he lived in.

You can read the short story using following link:

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Material Love vs Spiritual Love,The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wild.

Character of Young Student in The Nightingale and the Rose

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