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The Prince and the Pauper
Transcript of The Prince and the Pauper
By: Mark Twain
The climax occurs as Tom is being crowned king. Edward, the true heir, stands up and claims his tittle. A test is set up to concur which of the two boys is the true son. Whoever can tell the audience where the royal seal was hidden was the prince. Edward reveals where the seal is and it is found. He is declared the king.
Edward Tudor is crowned king. He rules mercifully and grants many blessings unto those helped him as well as Tom and his family (excluding his father). For example, he gives Miles his promised land and a title. Everyone "lives happily ever after"... sort of.
In this novel, there are two protagonists: Edward Tudor, the prince, and Tom Canty, the pauper.
In the exposition they meet and decide to switch clothes. When the prince does not return, Tom becomes nervous, afraid he would be caught and hanged. When rumors spread that the prince is mad, Tom is brought before his "father," the king. The king believes Tom is his son and commands that he must be "installed in his princely dignity in due and ancient form" so as people would not question Tom's madness.
Meanwhile, Edward is thrust into a mob of peasants by his own guards. He wanders around until Tom's father, John finds him and beats him.
The next morning, John Canty tells his family they must leave because of a past crime. The prince escaped from his grasp and runs into the crowd. He goes to the castle and proclaims that his is the true prince and is mocked.
Suddenly, the king's death is declared to everyone and Tom becomes the king.
Tom continues to act as king. He saves a woman a her child from a painful death as well as a man accused of poisoning someone
Meanwhile, Edward is perpetually persecuted. John kidnaps him but he eventually escapes. He then is almost stabbed by a madman, but his friend Miles saves him. He is then kidnapped by John again... and escapes again.
The day of Tom's coronation, he sees his mother and sisters in the crowd but denies knowing them.
As the boys change clothes, they change identities. Their lives changed completely.
Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Clothes are a motif in The Prince and the Pauper. Someone's clothes define who they are, what social class they are in. Tom and Edward defy this principal when they swap clothes.
A pauper and prince trade clothes and experience the difficulties of each other's lives.