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The winters tale by william shakespeare essay

Hermione — The virtuous and beautiful Queen of Sicily. Camillo — An honest Sicilian nobleman. Paulina — A noblewoman of Sicily.

Antigonus — Paulina's husband, and also a loyal friend of Hermione. Dion — A lord of Sicily. Cleomenes — A Sicilian lord. Mamillius — The young prince of Sicily, Leontes and Hermione's son.

  • So too in The Tempest the plot can be viewed as matching perfectly the typical Elizabethan revenge tragedy, up until the point where Prospero and Miranda are banished on the sea;
  • The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series edited by A;
  • What impact do ideas of magic and mystery have in The Winter's Tale?
  • As in Pericles , he uses a chorus to advance the action in the manner of the naive dramatic tradition; the use of a bear in the scene on the Bohemian seashore is almost certainly indebted to Mucedorus , [3] a chivalric romance revived at court around 1610;
  • Shakespeare, by contrast, sets in the foreground the restoration of the older, indeed aged, generation, in the reunion of Leontes and Hermione.

Emilia — One of Hermione's ladies-in-waiting. Gaoler — Charged with imprisoning Hermione. Mariner — His ship takes Antigonus to Bohemia. Florizel — Polixenes's only son and heir. Perdita — The daughter of Leontes and Hermione, unaware of her royal lineage. Shepherd — An old and honorable sheep-tender.

  1. Harmony, we learn, cannot be achieved through such romantic heights; Prospero tells Ferdinand 'Our revels now are ended. Pafford found that "the language, style, and spirit of the play all point to a late date.
  2. We are forced to work at understanding the play as opposed to merely absorbing what is presented to us.
  3. There are minor changes in names, places, and minor plot details, but the largest changes lie in the survival and reconciliation of Hermione and Leontes Greene's Pandosto at the end of the play.
  4. We have now reached the realm of romance.

Autolycus — A roguish peddler, vagabond, and pickpocket. Mopsa — A shepherdess, in love with Young Shepherd.

Dorcas — A shepherdess, in love with Young Shepherd.

The Winter’s Tale

Paulina imploring Leontes to have mercy on his daughter, Perdita. Illustration was designed for an edition of Lamb's Tales, copyrighted 1918. Following a brief setup scene the play begins with the appearance of two childhood friends: Polixenes is visiting the kingdom of Sicilia, and is enjoying catching up with his old friend.

However, after nine months, Polixenes yearns to return to his own kingdom to tend to affairs and see his son. Leontes desperately attempts to get Polixenes to stay longer, but is unsuccessful.

AS and A Level: The Winter's Tale

Leontes then decides to send his wife, Queen Hermione, to try to convince Polixenes. Hermione agrees and with three short speeches is successful. Leontes is puzzled as to how Hermione convinced Polixenes so easily, and Leontes suddenly goes insane and suspects that his pregnant wife has been having an affair with Polixenes and that the child is Polixenes's. Leontes orders Camillo, a Sicilian Lord, to poison Polixenes. Camillo instead warns Polixenes and they both flee to Bohemia.

Furious at their escape, Leontes now publicly accuses his wife of infidelity, and declares that the child she is bearing must be illegitimate. He throws her in prison, over the protests of his nobles, and sends two of his lords, Cleomenes and Dion, to the Oracle at Delphos for what he is sure will be confirmation of his suspicions.

Meanwhile, the queen gives birth to a girl, and her loyal friend Paulina takes the baby to the king, in the hopes that the sight of the child will soften his heart.

He grows angrier, however, and orders Paulina's husband, Lord Antigonus, to take the child and abandon it in a desolate place. Cleomenes and Dion return from Delphos with word from the The winters tale by william shakespeare essay and find Hermione publicly and humiliatingly put on trial before the king. She asserts her innocence, and asks for the word of the Oracle to be read before the court.

William Shakespeare

The Oracle states categorically that Hermione and Polixenes are innocent, Camillo is an honest man, and that Leontes will have no heir until his lost daughter is found. Leontes shuns the news, refusing to believe it as the truth. As this news is revealed, word comes that Leontes' son, Mamillius, has died of a wasting sickness brought on by the accusations against his mother. At this, Hermione falls in a swoon, and is carried away by Paulina, who subsequently reports the queen's death to her heartbroken and repentant husband.

Leontes vows to spend the rest of his days atoning for the loss of his son, his abandoned daughter, and his queen.

Antigonus, meanwhile, abandons the baby on the coast of Bohemia, reporting that Hermione appeared to him in a dream and bade him name the girl Perdita. He leaves a fardel a bundle by the baby containing gold and other trinkets which suggest that the baby is of noble blood. A violent storm suddenly appears, wrecking the ship on which Antigonus arrived.

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He wishes to take pity on the child, but is chased away in one of Shakespeare's most famous stage directions: Perdita is rescued by a shepherd and his son, also known as "Clown. Camillo, now in the service of Polixenes, begs the Bohemian king to allow him to return to Sicilia. Polixenes refuses and reports to Camillo that his son, Prince Florizel, has fallen in love with a lowly shepherd girl: He suggests to Camillo that, to take his mind off thoughts of home, they disguise themselves and attend the sheep-shearing feast where Florizel and Perdita will be betrothed.

Disguised, Polixenes and Camillo watch as Florizel under the guise of a shepherd named Doricles and Perdita are betrothed. Then, tearing off the disguise, Polixenes angrily intervenes, threatening the Old Shepherd and Perdita with torture and death and ordering his son never to see the shepherd's daughter again.

With the aid of Camillo, however, who longs to see his native land again, Florizel and Perdita take ship for Sicilia, using the clothes of Autolycus as a disguise. They are joined in their voyage by the Old Shepherd and his son who are directed there by Autolycus.

In Sicilia, Leontes is still in mourning. Cleomenes and Dion plead with him to end his time of repentance because the kingdom needs an heir. Paulina, however, convinces the king to remain unmarried forever since no woman can the winters tale by william shakespeare essay the greatness of his lost Hermione.

Florizel and Perdita arrive, and they are greeted effusively by Leontes. Florizel pretends to be on a diplomatic mission from his father, but his cover is blown when Polixenes and Camillo, too, arrive in Sicilia.

The meeting and reconciliation of the kings and princes is reported by gentlemen of the Sicilian court: The Old Shepherd and Young Shepherd, now made gentlemen by the kings, meet Autolycus, who asks them for their forgiveness for his roguery.

Leontes, Polixenes, Camillo, Florizel and Perdita then go to Paulina's house in the country, where a statue of Hermione has been recently finished.

  • Technically speaking, both The Winter's Tale and The Tempest adopt a comic style, with the 'bad' characters being punished, and all strife reaching the comic plane of resolution at the end;
  • After believing that Hermione is dead, we must believe that she has been living for sixteen years in hiding, and that she now willingly parades herself as a statue before the husband and daughter she hasn't seen for so long, so that Paulina can stage her resurrection;
  • How does the structure of The Winter's Tale contribute to its power?

The sight of his wife's form makes Leontes distraught, but then, to everyone's amazement, the statue shows signs of vitality; it is Hermione, restored to life. As the play ends, Perdita and Florizel are engaged, and the whole company celebrates the miracle. Despite this happy ending typical of Shakespeare's comedies and romances, the impression of the unjust death of young prince Mamillius lingers to the end, being an element of unredeemed tragedy, in addition to the years wasted in separation.

Shakespeare's changes to the plot are uncharacteristically slight, especially in light of the romance's undramatic nature, and Shakespeare's fidelity to it gives The Winter's Tale its most distinctive feature: There are minor changes in names, places, and minor plot details, but the largest changes lie in the survival and reconciliation of Hermione and Leontes Greene's Pandosto at the end of the play.

The character equivalent to Hermione in Pandosto dies after being accused of adultery, while Leontes' equivalent looks back upon his deeds including an incestuous fondness for his daughter and slays himself.

Greene follows the usual ethos of Hellenistic romance, in which the return of a lost prince or princess restores order and provides a sense of humour and closure that evokes Providence 's control. Shakespeare, by contrast, sets in the foreground the restoration of the older, indeed aged, generation, in the reunion of Leontes and Hermione. Leontes not only lives, but seems to insist on the happy ending of the play.

  • In The Winter's Tale, for example, the reconciliation of Hermione and Leontes ends not on a note of joy, but on a reminder, through Leontes regretful words, of their separation and the time wasted;
  • The Oracle states categorically that Hermione and Polixenes are innocent, Camillo is an honest man, and that Leontes will have no heir until his lost daughter is found.

It has been suggested that the use of a pastoral romance from the 1590s indicates that at the end of his career, Shakespeare felt a renewed interest in the dramatic contexts of his youth. Minor influences also suggest such an interest.

The way that Shakespeare uses female characters in The Winter’s Tale Essay

As in Pericleshe uses a chorus to advance the action in the manner of the naive dramatic tradition; the use of a bear in the scene on the Bohemian seashore is almost certainly indebted to Mucedorus[3] a chivalric romance revived at court around 1610. In spite of tentative early datings see belowmost critics believe the play is one of Shakespeare's later works, possibly written in 1610 or 1611.

Arden Shakespeare editor J. Pafford found that "the language, style, and spirit of the play all point to a late date. The tangled speech, the packed sentences, speeches which begin and end in the middle of a line, and the high percentage of light and weak endings are all marks of Shakespeare's writing at the end of his career. But of more importance than a verse test is the similarity of the last plays in spirit and themes. Tannenbaum wrote that Malone subsequently "seems to have assigned it to 1604; later still, to 1613; and finally he settled on 1610—11.

Hunter assigned it to about 1605. The title may have been inspired by George Peele 's play The Old Wives' Tale of 1590, in which a storyteller tells "a merry winter's tale" of a missing daughter.