Prince And The Pauper Essay Questions

On the same day on which a son is born to Henry VIII, occasioning much celebration, a son is born to John Canty in the squalor of Offal Court. While Edward Tudor is reared as the Prince of Wales, Tom Canty survives on the streets and learns literacy and Latin from a friendly priest. Reading about royalty, he organizes games in which he plays the prince. One day in Westminster, Tom sees the real prince in the palace grounds. When a guard tries to drive Tom away, Edward intervenes and invites Tom to play with him.

To their amazement, they look like twins. To complete the impression, Edward has them exchange clothes. Seeing a bruise which Tom received from the guard, Edward goes to reprimand him, and the guard, thinking him the pauper, drives him from the palace.

Tom is assumed to be Prince of Wales, and when he insists on his real identity, he is thought insane. Shortly thereafter, Henry VIII dies, and the Prince becomes King, only it is the pauper who sits on the throne. Gradually, Tom functions as monarch and by his common sense and feeling for justice rules wisely and well.

Meanwhile, Edward is forced into John Canty’s band of thieves. Mocked by a mob when he insists that he is the king, Edward is saved by Miles Hendon, a soldier of fortune. Canty recaptures the boy and takes him into the countryside, where the king learns of the hardship and suffering of the common people. When, with Hendon’s help, he is restored to the throne, he becomes a better ruler from his experience as a pauper.

An ardent advocate of democracy, Twain shows that a poor boy can be as good a ruler as the son of a king and that a king rules better after living among the poor.


Baetzhold, Howard G. Mark Twain and John Bull. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1970. Includes a twenty-page chapter that documents Mark Twain’s British sources for historical details in the novel.

Cummings, Sherwood. Mark Twain and Science: Adventures of a Mind. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988. Cummings examines the often overlooked influence of Mark Twain’s reading of French history on many details in the novel. Summarizes the novel’s flaws, but notes that an important theme in the work is the power of training.

Rasmussen, R. Kent. Mark Twain A to Z. New York: Facts On File, 1995. An indispensable reference on Mark Twain’s life and works. Contains a detailed analytical plot synopsis, background and publishing history, essays on major characters and places, and other topics, including dramatic adaptations of The Prince and the Pauper.

Stahl, John Daniel. “American Myth in European Disguise: Fathers and Sons in The Prince and the Pauper.” American Literature 58, no. 2 (May, 1986): 203-216. Analyzes symbolic father-son relationships in the novel. Notes similarities to other orphaned sons in Twain’s works.

Twain, Mark. The Prince and the Pauper. Edited by Victor Fischer and Lin Salamo. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. The most authoritative edition available. Corrected text restores the book as Mark Twain intended it to be published. Includes a twenty-five-page historical introduction, the author’s extensive working notes, a chapter that was removed from the first edition, and all 192 original illustrations.

The Prince and the Pauper

  • Length: 496 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
The Prince and the Pauper

The three main ideas of this book are (1) two boys' wishes become
true but later they don't enjoy it (2) Be careful what you wish for(3) Always
think about what you're doing first. The two major characters were Tom Canty and Edward, the Prince of Wales.

The conflict was between John Canty, Tom's father, and the prince.
The other conflict was between Tom and the lords, servants, the King, and all the royal people in the castle. John Canty, the lords, the servants, the
King, and all the royal people in the castle opposed Tom and Edward. Tom and Edward opposed them also. The characters deal with the situation that they find themselves in by telling the truth. They never stopped telling everyone one who they really were. They insisted saying that there were not who everyone really thought they were.

Everyone thought Tom and Edward were both mad. The reason why no one believed them is because they both looked alike and they both had exchanged outfits. They exchanged outfits because Edward wanted to feel how it was to be a pauper and how to live like one and Tom wanted to feel how it was to be a prince, the son of the King, and how to live like one. First Tom was enjoying it because he didn't have to beg anymore, he ate good food, and he slept in a nice, cozy bed in the King's palace, but later he didn't enjoy it because he wanted to go back home to his original family and live the way he used to live.

The Prince of Wales, son of the King, Edward was then living like a
Pauper. He was treated badly and never ate anything at all. He was beaten
by John Canty, Tom's father and was always forced to beg. Tom's mom tried to stop John but John and Tom’s sisters watched in just slapped her horror. Edward didn't even enjoy being a pauper at least once. Everyone just
thought that Tom and Edward were both mad.

They solved the confusion, though. After the King had died and Tom
was about to be crowned King of England Edward ran in and said that he was the true King.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Prince and the Pauper." 11 Mar 2018

LengthColor Rating 
The Prince And The Pauper Essay - The Prince and the Pauper On an autumn day in the ancient city of London, in the second quarter of sixteenth century, a boy was born to a poor family of the name Canty. On the same day another English baby was born of a rich family of the name of Tudor. There was talk in England about the new baby, Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales, who lapped in silk and satin. While on the other hand Tom Canty, who lapped in his poor rags, was seen as trouble. For fifteen years, Tom Canty lived in place where it is narrow and dirty, which is not far from London Bridge....   [tags: essays research papers]1096 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Class Distinction Shown in The Prince and the Pauper Essay example - In his book, The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain highlights class distinction very often. It plays an immensely important role in his novel, because Twain places his two main characters in the total extremes of the social class. Through these characters, Edward and Tom, Twain illustrates the vast difference between the high and low ends of the social class in England, shows how ignorant they were of each other, proves that a person's social status was determined by his appearance, and demonstrates that social status does not show the true worth of a person....   [tags: classism, class distinction, Mark Twain]
:: 3 Works Cited
2543 words
(7.3 pages)
Term Papers[preview]
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain Essay - The pre 1914 novel I have chosen to write about is The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain Pre 1914 Coursework on ‘The Prince And The Pauper’ The pre 1914 novel I have chosen to write about is ‘The Prince And The Pauper’ by Mark Twain. ‘The Prince And The Pauper’ was written in 1882, it was set in the time of King Henry VIII. It is a commentary on the social issues and relationships at that time. I have chosen to write about this novel, because it describes many of the social situations that are still around today....   [tags: English Literature]965 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper Essay - BOOK REPORT TITLE: The Prince and the Pauper AUTHOR: Mark Twain CLASSIFICATION: Adventure/Action/Classic SETTING: This story takes place in England during the time of King Henry XIII. It is set mainly in Offal Court and Westminster Palace. CHARACTER STUDY: In this story there are two look alikes. Tom Comty was born to a poor family in Offal Court. He looked identical to the Prince of Wales, Edward Tudor. Edward Tudor was born to royalty. He was the heir to the throne. There was only one problem &#8211; he had a look alike, Tom Comty....   [tags: essays research papers]659 words
(1.9 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Essay on Samuel Langhorne Clemens: A Writer for Life - Samuel Langhorne Clemens once proclaimed, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” This quote shows the difficulty in finding the proper identity Clemens envisioned for himself. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, struggled with this identity crisis for the majority of his young-adult life. A ferry-boat pilot, a soldier, a miner, and a journalist are just a few of the manifold career paths Clemens unsuccessful pursued in pursuit of his true identity....   [tags: biography, the prince and the pauper]
:: 7 Works Cited
1436 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Switching Places Mark Twains The Prince and the Pauper Essay - Switching Places Mark Twains The Prince and the Pauper The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain was a fun book to read, but it didn’t match the normal profile of a Mark Twain novel. Everything that I have read by him was set in the Mississippi River Valley before the Civil War. The Prince and the Pauper was set in sixteenth century England. The story revolves around a Prince and a Pauper if you can imagine that. Both Prince Edward Tudor and Tom Canty were born on the same day. Edward was welcome by the whole country as an heir to the throne, but Tom’s family didn’t want him because they were too poor as it was....   [tags: Essays Papers]852 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay on The Prince, by Machiavelli - “It is much safer to be feared than loved.” This quotation was just a specimen of the harsh and very practical political annotation of the legendary historian, Niccolò Machiavelli – philosopher, patriot, diplomat, advisor and statesman. He was born as the son of a poor lawyer in 1498, but he never let boundaries restrict him. He still received an excellent humanist education from the University of Florence and was soon after appointed as the Second Chancellor of the Republic of Florence.2 His political importance to Florence would soon give him the opportunity to write what is disputed as one of the most significant works in history, The Prince....   [tags: The Prince]
:: 20 Works Cited
1442 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Essay Lion and the Fox Metaphor in Machiavelli's The Prince - Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, The archetype man for politics in history. He was born on May 1469 and died June 1527. He is an Italian philosopher, thinker and writer. He was considered by many as one of the origin founders of political science in modern age. He was a diplomatic person, besides being a political philosopher, and musician. In Florentine Republic he used to be a civil servant. Then In 1498, he was elected as Secretary to the second Chancery of the Republic of Florence by the Great council....   [tags: the prince]517 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Essay on Cassirer, Nietzsche and Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince - Cassirer, Nietzsche and Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince When the word "Renaissance" is mentioned, an image of love for antiquity learning and fine arts usually springs to one's mind. Yet this perception, however legitimate it may be in many areas of Renaissance human achievements, shatters in the face of Niccolò Machiavelli's masterpiece The Prince. Unlike his contemporary Baldassare Castiglione who exemplified subtlety, Machiavelli was ruthlessly practical, nonchalantly callous, and admirably seamless in his logics about the bloody art of political power....   [tags: Prince]
:: 4 Works Cited
1164 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
The Message in The Prince Essay - The Message in The Prince The Prince, written by Niccolo Machiavelli, is one of the first examinations of politics and science from a purely scientific and rational perspective. Machiavelli theorizes that the state is only created if the people cooperate and work to maintain it. The state is also one of man?s greatest endeavors, and the state takes precedence over everything else. The state should be one?s primary focus, and maintaining the sovereignty of the state one?s most vital concern. The state is founded on the power of its military....   [tags: Machiavelli Prince]1177 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]

Related Searches

Pauper         Prince         Go Back         Main Ideas         Servants         Lords         Wales         Wishes         Always         Edward        

The royal guards grabbed Edward when suddenly Tom ran to Edward and told the guards to take their hands off of him. He told them that Edward was the true King. The noble advisor saw that Tom and Edward looked alike. He gave them a test. The test was to tell the noble advisor where was the Great Seal of England. Edward went into the cabinet wher the Great Seal was supposed to be but to his surprise he found it empty. Tom cried out and told Edward to think and remember where he had last put the Seal. Unfortunately Edward remembered where he had put it and he was crowned King and Tom became Edward's loyal knight.

0 thoughts on “Prince And The Pauper Essay Questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *