The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor’s New Clothes” (“Kejserens nye Klæder”) is a famous folktale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It is a story about a vain emperor, who is approached by two con-artists that pretend to be weavers, who promise to make the emperor a new suit of clothes made by the finest fabric. They claim that the fabric is so fine that it can only be seen by sophisticated eyes. Those who are unfit for their positions, stupid or unrefined cannot see it. In reality, however, there is no fabric at all, as the clever con-artists are only trying to fool everyone, taking advantage of people’s vanity and fears, pretending to hold up an invisible fabric before their eyes. No one, including the emperor, dares to admit that they cannot see anything, from fear of being called stupid or unfit for their position. As the emperor parades naked before his subjects, supposedly dressed in his new clothes, the fearful crowds also pretend to see the fine new clothing. This group hypnosis isn’t broken until finally an innocent child in the crowd suddenly cries out the truth: “But he has nothing on!”

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