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Fairy Tales

A Missouri Southern State University subject guide on fairy tales.

The Emperor's New Clothes

Elements of the Story

As explained in the 'Conventions of fairy tales' section, a fairy story always includes a number of important elements.

When reading through this section, keep in mind Hans Christian Andersen's version of the story as told here -


In the story of The Emperor's New Clothes the elements include: 


In the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, the good character is the Emperor.

The Emperor's New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen

"The Emperor's New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen" by elycefeliz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0



The bad characters in this story are the weavers who fool the Emperor into thinking he is wearing clothes.

gente, agricultura, cuento de hadas, Berlina, exposición, Jardines del mundo, Ropa nueva del emperador



Can you think of any supporting characters in this story?


Magic features in this story as the invisible fabric which foolish people cannot see.

(Source of picture: Book builder)



A fairy tale usually includes an obstacle or task which the characters must tackle with to reach their happy ending.  Can you think of the obstacle or task which the Emperor has to overcome?



Do you think this story has a happily ever ending?  Some versions finish with the Emperor holding his head up high and the crowd, seeing his courage, cheer and shout "Long live the Emperor!"  Hans Christian Andersen's version does not have this ending though, do you think his story ends 'happily ever after'?

File:The Emperor's New Clothes (Street Procession).jpg

By Koninklijke Bibliotheek [CC BY-SA 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons (Original work by illustrator:  Georges Delaw), CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


The story of The Emperor's New Clothes

You can read Hans Christian Andersen's version of The Emperor's New Clothes on the SurLaLune website.

Movie Trailer - The Emperor's New Clothes

Ruffus the Dog - The Emperor's New Clothes

In this notorious version of "The Emperor's New Clothes", Ruffus plays a dishonest tailor who takes advantage of a less-than-wise Emperor, preying upon his ego and vanity, to sell him something less than he had before - and more than his loyal subjects had bargained for.Features the song: "Emperor's New Clothes"

The Muppets - The Emperor's New Clothes

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