The Princess’s Man: An Intricate Title


I’m not sure what the title for this series is in Korean, (it’s 공주의 남자, which Google Translate tells me translates to “Men of a Princess”) but in English it’s The Princess’s Man, and it’s a perfect title on so many levels. “The Princess’s Man” refers to our hero, Kim Seung Yoo, who is the princess’s man in several ways. First he was originally intended to marry Lee Se Ryung, our heroine, who at the start of the drama masquerades as the Crown Princess in an effort to gage the personality of her future husband. Then Seung Yoo becomes the probable Prince Consort for the real princess, Kyung Hye. But he and Se Ryung have already fallen in love, and so far their relationship has been one in which she has lied to him and he has been perfectly honest. Then later on in our story Se Ryung becomes the actual princess because her father usurps the teenage king (and kills him, his own nephew!) and even though she rejects her position as princess, everyone else recognizes her as such. So again, Seung Yoo is the princess’s man.

But what really identifies him as such isn’t the various ways in which he is involved with fake and real princesses, but the specific way in which our heroine, the girl who masqueraded as a princess and became a real one against her will, loves him. Her love for him is constant and unwavering and strong, and it helps sustain her throughout her opposition to her father and Shin Myun. It’s her love for him that really claims him as her man. And his love for her in return solidifies that designation.

I love the way the narrative confirms this for us, with a title that alludes to Seung Yoo, but actually is dependent on Se Ryung. The show is about the both of them and doesn’t prioritize one over the other and the title signals that to us before we even know anything about the show. In the end it is their love for one another—the thing that begets the title—that triumphs over all their hardships and even over the rather destructive (though romantic and in many ways necessary) path of revenge that Seung Yoo had devoted himself to, and so it is his identity as “her man,” not as the rebel criminal or as his father’s son or as Shin Myun’s enemy, that is the most significant.

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