NCERT Solutions for The Happy Prince, Chapter 5
Question 1 Why do the courtiers call the prince ‘the Happy Prince’? Is he really happy? What does he see all around him?
Answer The courtiers called the Prince ‘the Happy Prince’ because he was always happy when he was alive. He did not know what was sadness because he lived in a palace where sorrow was not allowed to enter.But he is not happy at all. When the Prince died and his statue was installed on tall column overlooking the city, he could see the sorrow and poverty in many homes. Thus, he was not happy as he could see all the misery and ugliness of the city around him. He wants to do something for them to make them happy.
Question 2 Why does the Happy Prince send a ruby for the seamstress? What does the swallow do in the seamstress’ house?
Answer The Happy Prince sent a ruby for the seamstress as she was extremely poor and could not feed her child who was suffering from fever. The baby wants oranges. The swallow, on being persuaded by the prince, went to the seamstress house. He kept the ruby beside the seamstress on the table. The sorrow then flew around the bed and fanned the boy’s forehead with his wings.
Question 3 For whom does the prince send the sapphires and why?
Answer The prince sent the sapphires for two people, young playwright across the city and the poor selling matches, who had lost all the matches he had.
The young playwright was trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre. However, the young man became too cold as, there was no firewood in his fireplace and hunger made him faint. The sapphire was sent to the young playwright so that he could sell it to the Jeweller and buy firewood and finish his play. On seeing the sapphire, the young man felt appreciated and believed that he could finally finish his play.
The Happy Prince then saw a poor little girl selling matches, who was standing in the square just below him. Her matches fell in the gutter because of which they were all spoiled. The prince knew that her father would beat her if she did not bring home some money. So, the other sapphire was sent to little girl so she could sell it to go home with some money.
Question 4 What does the swallow see when it flies over the city?
Answer When the swallow flew over the city he saw a great difference between rich and poor. He saw rich men enjoying life, unaware of the condition of the poor nearby. The swallow saw the worst conditions of lite of the poor when they were denied even a proper sleep by police walking around the street.
Question 5 Why did the swallow not leave the prince and go to Egypt?
Answer As the Prince had given both of the two sapphires in his eyes to help the poor and needy, he had become blind. Therefore, the swallow decided to stay forever with the Prince and not to go to Egypt.
Question 6 What are the precious things mentioned in the story? Why are they precious?
Answer The two precious things mentioned in the story are the heart of the Prince which was made of lead and the dead swallow. They are precious because both the Prince and the swallow were very kind, generous and selfless. The Prince could not bear to see the ugliness, misery and suffering in his city and gave away all his precious stones and gold to make his people happy. Similarly, the swallow sacrificed going to Egypt and acted as the Prince’s messenger, carrying the precious stones and gold to the needy and spreading happiness all around.