The Happy Prince

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Click here to read this playscript in Spanish: EL PRINCIPE FELIZ

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(The statue of the Happy Prince is on a tall column.  He’s all covered in gold.  He has a gold heart.  His eyes are two blue sapphires. There’s a ruby in his sword.  Crowd passing by, look at the statue and leave the scene.  Mother and Daughter stop to admire it)


DAUGHTER: Look mother,  what a beautiful statue.  Do you know who he is?.


MOTHER: That is the statue of a Prince.  It has been here for many years.  People tell different stories about him.  I don’t know if he was real, or if he’s only a legend.


DAUGHTER: Tell me what you know.


MOTHER: People say that he was a Prince who lived in a castle on top of a mountain.  His father, the king, was a very generous and kind man, who shared his fortune with all of his people.  That’s why everybody loved him, and the prince, too.  They were very happy!.  There hadn’t been another king just like him.  They say, that one day the king got sick and died suddenly, and the Prince who was so sad and desperate, died shortly after his father’s death.


DAUGHTER: Oh, that’s a very sad story.  Do you know who made the statue?.


MOTHER: People collected all the gold and precious stones given to them by the king, and they made the statue of the Prince.  They were so grateful for what the King did for them, and they named the statue “The Happy Prince”.


DAUGHTER: Well, he doesn’t look like a Prince. He looks like an angel.  I think he was as kind as his father was!.


MOTHER: That’s what people say.  Let’s go, it’s late.


(Mother and Daughter leave the stage. A Swallow enters and lies between the feet of the statue)


SWALLOW: This is really a beautiful golden bedroom! .  Oh, this trip to Egypt is too long and I’m very tired!.  I’ll rest here for a while and tomorrow I will continue my journey. (Two water drops fall on him) It’ starting to rain!. (More water drops fall on him.  He looks at the sky) This is strange. The sky is clear.  Where are those water drops coming from?. (He looks at the statue.  The statue cries) Why are you crying?.  Who are you?.


HAPPY PRINCE: I am the Happy Prince.


SWALLOW: If you are the Happy Prince, then why do you cry!.


HAPPY PRINCE: I cry because when I was alive and had a human heart, I never worried about anything.  I didn’t know what tears were, that’s why people called me the Happy Prince!.    And now that I’m here on top of this column, I can see that there’s suffering and misery in my kingdom.


SWALLOW: But, what can you do about it?.


HAPPY PRINCE: My father was a great man.  Everything my father gave his people, including the gold, helped them to have a better life without suffering.  And now, I want to do the same thing, but I can’t.  I can’t move.  I’m only a statue, and I don’t need to be covered in gold and precious stones.


SWALLOW: Is there something I can do for you?.


HAPPY PRINCE: Yes.  At the end of the street, there’s a poor house.  One of the windows is opened and through it I can see a woman seated at a table.  She’s embroidering a dress that a lovely lady will wear at the palace ball.  Her son, is in bed hungry and sick, but she can only give him water.  Please, little swallow, take her the ruby of my sword.


SWALLOW: I’ll do what you want, even if my friends are waiting for me in the Nile. (He takes the ruby from the sword and leaves.  He returns and lies between the feet of the statue) I did as you told me.  The woman was surprised when I left the ruby on her window.  He took it in her hands, she cried and hugged her son.  I felt so satisfied!.


HAPPY PRINCE: That is because you have done a good deed.  Stay with me tonight, please, and be my messenger.


SWALLOW: Do you want me to do something else for you?.


HAPPY PRINCE: Yes.  Please, take one of my  sapphires to a writer that lives in that house over there.  He is hungry, and cold.  He is trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre, but he is too cold  and hungry to write any more.


SWALLOW: What will he do with the sapphire?.


HAPPY PRINCE: He will sell it to the jeweller, and buy food and firewood, and finish his play.


SWALLOW: I can’t do that.   I should be in Egypt by now, admiring the pyramids, and watching the lions drinking water from the Nile.


HAPPY PRINCE: Little swallow, do as I command you.


(The Swallow takes the sapphire from one of the statue’s eyes and leaves.  The Swallow returns)


HAPPY PRINCE: Thank you, little swallow.


SWALLOW: Yo don’t know how happy I felt when I arrived to his house.  The man looked so desperate. When he saw the sapphire I left on his window, he rapidily stood up.  He took it in hands,  and left the house in a hurry.


HAPPY PRINCE: Now I need you to take the other sapphire.


SWALLOW: But Prince, if I take out the other sapphire , you will be blind!.


HAPPY PRINCE: It doesn’t matter.  Do it, please.


SWALLOW: Where should I go?.


HAPPY PRINCE: In the Square below, you will find a little match-girl.  She’s wearing no shoes and has no coat.  Her matches fell in the mud and now she can’t sell them.  Her father will be angry at her if she doesn’t bring home some money.  I don’t need this sapphire, she needs it more than I.



(The Swallow takes the other sapphire from the statue’s eye and leaves. The Swallow returns)


SWALLOW: Oh, Prince, I did as you told me.  Poor little girl.  I found her crying lying on the ground.  I stood in front of her, and when she saw the sapphire I had in my beak,  she touched me gently, then she took it.  I flew away and I saw when she stood up and looked at me.


HAPPY PRINCE: Thank you!.


SWALLOW: Prince, now that you are blind.  I can not leave you. I’ll stay with you forever.


HAPPY PRINCE: Then, there’s one more thing you should do for me.  I am covered with fine gold.  You must take it off, leaf by leaf, and give it to the poor people; those who are hungry and cold.


SWALLOW: But, I don’t want you to die.


HAPPY PRINCE: Please understand.   My people built me a statue with all the gold and precious stones given to them by my father.  This is their gold, and I want to give it back to them.  Start right now.


(The Swallow takes off  leaf after leaf of the gold and gives it to the poor men and women passing by)


POOR MAN 1: Oh, we have bread now!.


POOR MAN 2: We can buy firewood!.


POOR WOMAN 1: My children will not be cold this winter!.


POOR WOMAN 2: My husband will have his medicine!.


POOR WOMAN 3: Thank you God!.  This is a miracle!.


(The Poor Men and Women leave running and shouting joyfully. The Swallow is tired.  He lies between the Happy Prince’s feet)


SWALLOW: I did as you told me, now I will sleep for a while. I’m very tired.


HAPPY PRINCE: Rest, my good friend, you deserve it.


(The Swallow closes his eyes and dies.  The Mayor, his guard, and the crowd enter and look at the statue)


MAYOR: There’s a dead swallow lying beside the statue.


GUARD: The ruby, the sapphires, and the gold that covered the statue are not there!.


MAYOR: The statue is worthless.  Let’s destroy it, and throw everything to the trash, including the swallow!.


(The Mayor, his Guard, and the crowd take the statue and destroy it.  They leave pieces of the statue and the heart on the ground.  The Happy Prince’s heart and the Swallow’s body remain together.  The Mayor, his Guard, and the crowd leave. An angel enters)


ANGEL: Where am I going to find the two most beautiful things I have seen, as God asked me to. (She sees and takes in his hands the gold heart and the dead swallow) Oh, these are the most beautiful things I have seen here on earth. I’ll take them to God.


(The Angel leaves)




Author:  Oscar Wilde


Adapted by: K I D S I N C O


Moral Value:  Generosity.  Charity.  Love


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