The princess and the swineherd character analysis

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the princess and the swineherd character analysis

The Swineherd by Hans Christian Andersen

The Swineherd is one of the Danish author Hans Christian Andersens fairy tales, with a heavily moral and melancholy feel. It is about about an arrogant princess, and the price she eventually pays for her pride. The story was first published as Svinedrengen, in December 1841. Here is one of the first illustrations, by Vilhelm Pedersen,



The story begins,

There was once a prince who didnt have any money. But he had a kingdom, and though it was small, it was enough for two.

The prince loved the Emperors daughter and dearly wanted to marry her. He had just two beautiful things he could give; a rose tree which only flowered once every five years, producing one bloom, and a nightingale with a most beautiful song. These were presents fit for any princess, thought the prince, so he sent them to the Emperors daughter.

However, the Emperors daughter wanted something manufactured instead, such as a clockwork kitten. She impatiently rejected the humble offerings. But the prince was not to be deterred. He disguised himself and applied for the position of swineherd at the palace. Once there, he constructed a cooking pot, with bells hanging all around the edge, so that it would cleverly play a tune as it boiled. The princess was delighted when she saw the pot, and wanted it for her very own. She insisted on knowing what the price was.

The prince, disguised of course as the swineherd, demanded ten kisses - and he got them. The princess spent the next few days playing with her new trinket, but meanwhile the prince, as the swineherd, was creating a new gimmick to entice her. It was a musical rattle. Of course the princess wanted this for herself too, and tried to persuade the swineherd to accept kisses from her ladies-in-waiting.

But the prince would have none of it, and demanded one hundred kisses for the musical rattle. The princess obliged, but asked her ladies-in-waiting to shield her from view. The Emperor, hearing a commotion in the pigsty, made his way through the mud, to see what was going on with the ladies-in-waiting. Nobody noticed him, as they were all so engrossed with counting the kisses.(view spoiler)[ When the Emperor saw what his daughter was actually doing - kissing a swineherd for a toy - he became so angry that he instantly turned them both out of his kingdom in disgust.

The princess now felt very sorry for herself indeed, and cried bitterly, wailing that she wished she had married the handsome prince when she had had the chance. In the meantime, the prince washed his face, threw away his filthy clothes, and donned his princely robes.

Dont expect me to be sorry for you, he said, You would not marry an honest prince. You did not value the rose or the nightingale. But you were ready to kiss a swineherd for the sake of a jingling toy. You have got what you deserve.

The story ends with the prince going back to his own little kingdom, and never thinking of her again. (hide spoiler)]


The punishing of proud princesses seems to be a stock theme in folk and fairy tales. The brothers Grimm wrote a similar story called, King Thrushbeard, in which a royal figure disguises himself, in order to court an arrogant princess. Most of the traditional tales, however, end happily, with the chastened princess having learnt her lesson; now sorry and humbled, and continuing to love the man once he is revealed to be royalty. (view spoiler)[In Hans Christian Andersens story the princess is cast off and left alone, still arrogant, merely grieving for the loss of love and status. (hide spoiler)]

Hans Christian Andersen is typically less sentimental in his story, and far more downbeat. The Swineherd comes across as a harsh cautionary tale.
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The Princess & the Swineherd

The Swineherd

All rights reserved. The elf ends up inside a rose that the young man takes with him—but then the brother murders him and buries the body. The elf tells this to the woman in a dream, and she goes and digs up his head and plants a jasmine bush on top of it. She dies too. The evil brother keeps the jasmine bush, til the elves that live inside it murder him.

The fairytale about the princess and the swineherd is actually a story about unrequited love. When he got settled in a small room he started making all kinds of instruments that the princess wanted. He gave her the first instrument in exchange for ten kisses, the other one for hundred of them and in the end, he realized that all she wanted was toys to play around with and that there will be no love between them. Both of them were banished from the kingdom when her father saw them kissing. The prince got back in his regular clothes and when the princess saw him she fell in love with him but he was interested in the princess anymore because she was spoiled. Once upon a time a poor prince lived with the intention of getting married one day.

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The fairytale is about the princess and the swineherd is a story about The swineherd is actually a prince, fell in love with the princess. Character analysis.
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Download the Audio of the Swineherd. By Hans Christian Andersen. This is a prince and a princess story with a difference. The princess is spoilt and unable to appreciate the gifts of natural beauty that her prince sends her. She scorns a perfect rose and a nightingale.

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