The King is Dead, Long Live the king

Coleridge, Mary E. “The King is Dead, Long Live the King.” The Language of Literature. Arthur N. Applebee, Andrea B. Bermudez, Sheridan Blau, Rebekah Caplan, et al. A Houghton Mifflin Company: Evanston, Illinois, 2002. 889-895. Print.

This short story, “The King is Dead, Long Live the King,” is plotted many years ago, when kings were still absolute monarchs of state. It tells the story of a king who died and had the option to return to life, only if he found three persons who wanted him a live, in a given time after his death. This seemed very easy for the king, because he thought “[he] could find three thousand as easily as three” but at the end of the story he was only able to find 2 persons that wanted him alive. Coleridge’s point is that life rarely turns out the way people expect; the human race is very naïve and optimistic and very often hope for things, which are very improbable. By developing this plot, Coleridge shows us a truthful insight about human beings, and she does by using situational irony. The audience, as well as the king, expects him to live ,but instead the king dies and notices that not even the queen wanted him alive, and had been cheating on him with his best friend.


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