The nightingale and the rose, di Oscar Wilde



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“The Nightingale and the Rose” is an extraordinary short story written by Oscar Wilde. The tale describes the yearning story of a Nightingale that kills herself in honor of Love: she recognizes in a young Student's tears, the sadness of a true lover. Indeed he despairs because he have to bring a lady a red rose to conquer her, but there isn't a red rose in all his garden. So the Nightingale decides to sacrifice his life and to stain the rose with his heart's blood.
The main theme faced by the author is the mystery of Love: the red rose represents love like a gift that isn't easy to find at all. The Student, engrossed in the study of philosophy and its complicated questions, understands that now his life depends on a common red rose, that “happiness depends on little things”. But, who loves, inevitably suffers: if we want to know gladness, at first we have to understand suffering.
Actually, not even the student completely understood the mystery of love: he feels it, but he doesn't listen to it:”The Student looked up from the grass, and listened, but he could not understand what the Nightingale was saying to him, for he only knew the things that are written on books” and love isn't explained in a book.
To the writer, love is sacrifice: we have to renounce something to reach it. The Nightingale believes so much in this strong feeling that immolates her life on the altar of love with an impressive bravery. She decides not to hide herself under superficiality, as who prefers laughing at people believing in ideals. The Nightingale dies for love and in love: she continues to sing of it until the end, she will be never seized by uncertainty.
The story has a terrible end: the Student brings the rose to his love, but she refuses it because the Chamberlain's nephew has already sent her some jewels. But love can't be bought: only who hasn't understood, can buy it, because needs of material demonstrations.
As the student is refused, he changes his opinion about love, merely a “silly thing”. The boy isn't willing to sacrifice himself like the Nightingale: the bird had never renounced her beliefs also in front of difficulties, she had been ready to commit suicide. On the contrary the boy surrenders against the girl's superficiality and takes the easiest way: he hides his suffering in books, in his false convictions; he forsakes the insecure love for the stable philosophy. But can't men live without passion?