“The Princess and the Pea” is a short but fascinating tale written by the famous Hans Christian Andersen. It’s about a prince who wanted to marry a real princess. Luck smiled upon him and sent the girl that claimed she is precisely that, right to his front door. She knocked at the door of the castle, all wet from the rain and lost. Queen presented to the princess one test which proved that the girl was a real princess. She has set a single pea, under dozens of mattresses and blankets, to check whether the princess will feel this.
This story tells us that there are always ways to verify a genuine nature of the people. In this story, the princess proves its sensitivity to discomfort, which can be developed only by those that are pampered their entire life, even if it’s only a pea under dozens of mattresses, blankets, and pillows.
This story is very short, but it contains all the elements of a fairy tale. There are no fairies or talking animals, but has the most important thing each fairy tale should have – prince, princess and moral. The anecdote is simple, intended for the youngest children because there are no negative elements or scary parts.
Time: once upon a time
Place: in the castle
Once upon a time, there was a prince that wanted to marry a princess, but he wanted to marry the one. The only question was how is he going to determine which one is the right one for him. It was a tough question, and the first thing the prince did was order his servants to pack up all of the nice stuff.
Before looking for the One, the prince wanted to have all of his nice clothes such as silk shirts, golden jackets, and others packed up nicely for him. His parents were very excited and wished him good luck on his journey hoping he’ll return soon.
The prince headed off in golden carriages. He met a lot of beautiful ladies, princesses, noble women but he did not feel like any of those women was the one. The prince went back home sad because he did not find his future wife. He admitted to his parents that not a single woman was the one from his dreams.
One night a terrible storm started, and it was raining heavily. While the thunders were raging on, somebody knocked on the castle door. It was an entirely wet girl. She shivered from the coldness and even though she was tormented by the storm she looked beautiful.
They let her into the castle to freshen up, and the girl kept on saying that she was a princess. The prince sent his servants to bring the girl to him, and when he saw her, he fell in love with her at first sight. When he saw her, he felt incredible happiness and wanted to believe that she was the one. At that moment, all he could think about is making sure that she was a princess.
The prince did not even suspect that his mother was thinking same as him. She took a pea, placed it in the guest room under ten mattresses, and the girl had to sleep like that.
In the morning, they asked her if she slept nice and her answer was no because she felt like she was sleeping on something hard. They realized she was a princess because she felt the pea underneath her. The prince and the princess got married, and the pea was placed into a treasury.
Characters: prince, princess, queen, servants
Prince – Prince is eager to get married, provided he finds a real princess. The prince is very picky, but in the end came on his own. He waited patiently for real princess and she eventually literally knocked on his door. When princess proved to be a real princess, he was pleased to marry her. Prince is confirmation that is ok to wait for someone that we want, and not settle for less. We will get what we want if we are patient enough.
Prince’s mother – respect the decision and wish her son to marry only the real princess. She was intelligent enough to come up with a plan that will prove that she is the true princess. She has placed a pea under a lot of mattresses. Prince’s mother was inventive, and no one could cheat her. She didn’t believe the word until proven otherwise. However, she was pleased when the princess prooved herself. Finally, she could marry her discerning son.
Hans Christian Andersen Biography
Hans Christian Andersen was born April 2nd, 1805 in Odense. He was born into a poor family. His father was a shoemaker, and his mother did not have a job. Even though they did not have much Hans was happy for growing up next to a father who recognized his love for adventures and stories. Since he was a boy, his father told him many stories and helped him build a puppet theater.
His life got hard when his father died. His mother had to clean other people’s laundry to provide food, shelter, and clothes for herself and her son. Even though she wanted to send him to a school to study something he wanted to go into a big city and make something out of himself.
He had only 14 years when he came to Copenhagen. He lived in an attic and worked a lot to make it. He even danced for a short time. When he was 17, he decided to go to school, so he sat in school with 12-years old. He even went to a university.
He wrote and studied at the same time. He wrote many fairy tales and “The Ugly Duckling” was considered to contain elements of his life. Some of his other famous fairy tales are: “The little Mermaid”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Snow Queen”…
He died in Copenhagen August 4th, 1875.
Book reports from Hans Christian Andersen
- The Brave Tin Soldier
- The Emperor’s New Clothes
- The Little Match Girl
- The Little Mermaid
- The Nightingale
- The Princess and the Pea
- The Snow Queen
- The Swineherd
- The Ugly Duckling