What does Humpty Dumpty Symbolize?
This nursery rhyme is known and loved worldwide, which is not surprising: the main character of the poem is unrepeatable and memorable. Children love the famous egg a lot, but, as many people believe, the rhyme was created not only to nurse children, but also to symbolize and reveal more serious things of the adult world.
There is an opinion that the Humpty Dumpty rhyme was originally a riddle, as the poem doesn't state that it is an egg. As for the symbolism of the poem, there are several different theories of it. The following three of them are considered the most common:
- Katherine Elwes Thomas in 1930 stated that Humpty Dumpty is King Richard III of England, who was defeated, despite his armies, at Bosworth Field in 1485.
- Professor David Daube suggested in T1956 that Humpty Dumpty was a "tortoise" siege engine, an armoured frame, used unsuccessfully to approach the walls of the Parliamentary held city of Gloucester in 1643 during the Siege of Gloucester in the English Civil War.
- The Colchester tourist board attributed the origin of the rhyme to a cannon recorded used from the church of St Mary-at-the-Wall by the Royalist defenders in the siege of 1648.