The Nightingale and the Rose Summary

“The Nightingale and the Rose” is a captivating and melancholic short story by Oscar Wilde that explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the fleeting nature of human desires. Set in a world where love is prized above all else, the story follows a nightingale’s selfless quest to help a young student win the heart of his beloved. Read More Summaries Class 8 English Summaries.

The Nightingale and the Rose Summary

The Nightingale and the Rose Summary in English

There was a student who was very upset because he did not have a red rose in his garden to be given to his lover. If he could give it to her the next day, then she would dance with him. But as he didn’t have any rose, he started crying. A nightingale was watching all this. The nightingale said that this man is a true lover. Then the Green Lizard and the Daisy noticed the student crying.

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The nightingale told them that he was weeping for a red rose which made them laugh. Now the nightingale felt sorry for the student and wanted to get him a red rose. She went to the Rose tree at the center of the grass-plot and requested for a red rose. She said that she would sing for it as a reward. But the tree only had white roses and it directed the Nightingale to its brother who was growing at the sun-dial. But that tree had yellow roses.

It asks the Nightingale to fly to another tree that was growing under the window of the student’s room. She made the same request to the next tree. But it said” My flower is very, very red. But my veins are chilled by the cold season and the snow has nipped my buds. The storm has broken my branches. So I cannot produce any flower this year”. The bird asked if there was any possible way to get a red rose. The tree said that for getting the rose the bird had to sing in the moonlight and stain the tree with the blood of the bird. It had to sing pressing its breast upon a thorn. The thorn had to go into the heart of the bird and blood had to flow into the veins of the rose.

The Nightingale thought of how beautiful her life was. But she said that love is superior to life and that a man’s life is better than a bird’s life, the nightingale continued. It asked the student to be a true lover. But he couldn’t understand anything. The Oaktree was very upset about the Nightingale, so she sang one last song for it.

Then the bird flew to Red-rose tree, pressed her breast against a thorn and started singing songs. The thorn pierced into her heart deeper and deeper and blood came out of her body. Before morning a red rose was born and the Nightingale was gone. The student was very happy to find the red rose and he rushed to his lover, who was the Professor’s daughter and requested her to dance with him as he had brought the rose. She said “ I don’t think it matches with my dress. There is another thing also.

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The nephew of Chamberlain has sent me some jewels. You know that jewels are more valuable than flowers’. The student thought that she was very ungrateful and not trustworthy. He very angrily threw the flower into the street and it fell into the gutter where the wheel of a cart ran upon it.

The student said ‘ What a silly thing love is!’. The irony here is that even though the Nightingale thought that love was more valuable than life and she gave her life for it, the girl just so easily rejected the student’s red rose, which came from the great sacrifice of the Nightingale!.


In conclusion, “The Nightingale and the Rose” poignantly reveals the tragic irony of love, where the nightingale sacrifices its life for a love that ultimately proves shallow and ephemeral. Oscar Wilde’s story serves as a thought-provoking reflection on the sacrifices we make for love and the often harsh reality that love is not always reciprocated or appreciated.

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