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Oscar Wilde - Young King

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Oscar Wilde - Young King

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  • October 2005
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Oscar Wilde's ‘The Young King' is the tale of a young man's metamorphosis, through a dream quest, that opens his eyes to the heart rendering struggle of the poor, who are exploited by the rich and the powerful to satisfy their own selfish needs. The change that takes place in the Young King reflects his attainment of the virtue asked for in Christ's message. The story begins with "the night before the day fixed for his coronation" and the young king, "being but sixteen years of age" sits alone in his opulent chambers adorned with rich and beautiful things. The boy who had been bought up by a peasant in the forest had a great love and fascination for beauty. Similarly "All rare and costly material things had certainly a great fascination for him" and his eagerness to procure them had sent merchants to all corners of the globe to get them. But above all else, it was the robe that he was to wear at his coronation, made of tissue gold, the "ruby studded crown and the sceptre with its rows and rings of pearls" that mesmerized him. On that tranquil night when it struck midnight and he had been "disrobed with much ceremony", he fell asleep in no time and this was the dream he had. He thought he was standing in a dark, dingy room "admits the whirr and clatter of many looms" with many "gaunt figures of weavers bending over their cases" They were tired yet worked hard and incessantly. "Their faces were pinched with famine and their thin hands shook and trembled." When the Young King asks one of the weavers who his master is, weaver cries out that he is just like him except that his master "wears fine clothes" while he himself "go in rags" The young king reminds him that it was a free land and he was no man's slave. To which the weaver replies that "in war the strong make slaves of the weak and the in peace the rich make slaves of the poor." He goes on to speak of how the poor are deprived and exploited by the poor by bringing out the bitter irony of how they "tread out...