“Will you do an important thing?” “Of course, I will.” That usually will be your answer.
“Will you do an important thing? But your happiness, safety, health, wealth will be gone.” “Well…Maybe I won’t.”
After reading The Prisoner of Zenda, you may know how hard it is to make a decision and how important it is.
Unlike the Rassendyll family, Rudolf Rassendyll looked like the new king of Ruritania. He went to Ruritania for the new king’s coronation. He soon found out that Black Michael wanted to be the king and marry the princess Flavia, even though Flavia was the intended bride of the real king and she loved the king. Rudolf met the king the night before the coronation. Unfortunately, the king drank the wine sent by Black Michael and he could not wake up early next morning. Fritz and Sapt who worked for the king asked Rudolf to take the king’s place because he looked almost the same as the real king. Rudolf was able to refuse and he knew how dangerous he was, because if something wrong was happen, he would lose his life. But he did not do so. He bravely took part in the coronation. If he did not go, Black Michael would be the king and the real king would be dead or a prisoner.
It was only a small part of the novel, but what do you think about Rudolf? He chose the way of danger and hardness. He knew how important he was at that time. And he was the only person stood out.
As soon as Black Michael knew it, he kept the real king in the castle of Zenda. Rudolf still had to be the king and his adventures began. The princess loved Rudolf as she thought he was the real king. And Rudolf fell in love with the princess too. But he had to save the real king, the prisoner of Zenda. He made plans with Fritz and Sapt. At last, Rudolf won. After fighting with the people who worked for Black Michael and being hurt, Rudolf saved the real king. He said goodbye to the princess Flavia and left the country of Ruritania.
Though Rudolf was not the real king of Ruritania, he was the real hero of the country. He could leave the real king and be with the princess. He need not to do so many dangerous things for the real king. He had the opportunity to choose his love, but he did not. He chose the honor and loyalty to the real king.
Making decisions is an important thing for us. We choose which to buy and which to eat. We choose where to go and what to do. The happier, the better. The safer, the better. Perhaps these are our common opinions. And I am sure that I usually choose something in this way. What about Rudolf? You may think that it is not a real event. But what about those soldiers who stood out and entered the armies? Without any forcing, they left their homes to protect their countries. What about those teachers who gave up the chance to stay in large cities and went to teach the students in poor areas? They could not get high salaries and they could not see their relatives often. And what about those managers who always did as much as their workers did? … They all made important decisions and lost much happiness or safety. And they all chose the estimable things and all did well.————
This is an adventure romance about a young, English gentleman named Rudolf Rassendyll who travelled all the way to a fictitious
kingdom called Ruritania to witness the coronation of the young king Rudolf the fifth of Ruritania. He was driven to this action filled thrilling journey by his anxious sister-in-law, Rose, who felt Rudolf was wasting his life doing nothing. On reaching Ruritania, Rudolf Rassendyll was shocked to learn that the young king was his carbon copy! The only difference was that King Rudolf the Fifth did not have a beard. This made Rudolf Rassendyll understand the astonishment of the customs officer at the frontier of Ruritania and of Johann, the forest guard in Zenda. The story unfolds with the plot to capture and kill King Rudolf by his half brother and Duke known as Black Michael in Zenda. Black Michael drugs King Rudolf through his favourite wine. By doing so, King Rudolf is unable to attend his coronation in Strelsau, the next day. The Duke wanted to usurp the throne as well as marry Princess Flavia, who was already betrothed to King Rudolf. The army wanted Black Michael as King of Ruritania but Colonel Sapt and Fritz, who were loyal servants of King Rudolf wanted Rudolf Rassendyll to help King Rudolf from being imprisoned or killed by Black Michael. Since Rudolf Rassendyll resembled the King in every way he was to impersonate the King and be crowned as King Rudolf the Fifth in Strelsau. He was tutored by the two men on the protocol while the King lay motionless in the cellar at the hunting lodge of Black Michael. On the day of the coronation, Rudolf Rassendyll observes that the people of Ruritania were divided in their loyalty for King Rudolf. The ' New Town' wanted Rudolf as the King while the 'Old Town' favoured the Duke as King. The Duke had promised changes and reforms for the 'Old Town' to win their support. During the coronation, Rudolf Rassendyll noticed the hostility of the people of the 'Old Town', but his bravery in riding through the 'Old Town' unescorted soon proved his courage that they began to cheer and accept him. It is during the coronation that Rudolf Rassendyll as King comes face to face with Princess Flavia and Duke Michael. Princes Flavia notices the slight difference in the King. However she cautions him against Black Michael. Rudolf Rassendyll falls in love with Princess Flavia but the gentleman in him commands him to take control of his innermost desires. Black Michael tries his best to woo Princess Flavia but fails. Antoinette de Mauban, the lady who was in love with Black Michael, however, exposes Black Michael's plans to kill the King and marry Princess Flavia. Rudolf Rassendyll proposes marriage to Princess Flavia against his own wishes. Then with the help of Antoinette de Mauban and a few other faithful servants of King Rudolf, Rudolf Rassendyll frees the King held captive in the old Zenda castle by Duke Michael. This is where the action is when one reads the book. Rudolf Rassendyll hands over the crown and Princess Flavia to King Rudolf. The end sees that though Princess Flavia learns of the existence of Rudolf Rassendyll who had proposed marriage to her and was truly in love with her, she sacrifices her love for her honour required her to serve her country and marry the King.