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Examine Act 3 Scene 2 and consider its importance in the development of the plot, in the presentation of character and in the revelation themes, discussing also the effectiveness of the language.

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Introduction

Examine Act 3 Scene 2 and consider its importance in the development of the plot, in the presentation of character and in the revelation themes, discussing also the effectiveness of the language. In Act 3 Scene 2, Shakespeare uses the climax of the courtroom scene as a device to conclude the first half of the play. The preceding acts lead up to the courtroom scene where many of the audience's questions are answered. Will Hermione be found innocent? And will Leontes realise and admit his mistakes? Both the courtiers', present in this scene and the audience reach the courtroom scene with the expectation that sanity will prevail. Act 3 Scene 2 is central to the developing plot on several grounds. The court scene is the catalyst for Leontes' change in manner. Leontes changes from pompous to instantly rational and humble as a result of the revelations that he hears. Leontes vows to visit his son and wife's graves once a day to grieve as a way of penitence. "Once a day I'll visit The chapel where they lie, and tears shed there Shall be my recreation" Leontes' penitence in Sicilia is central to the developing plot. ...read more.

Middle

Hermione's language however is true to her character, controlled and rational. Hermione conveys the indignity of her situation in lines 103-105. "Lastly, hurried Here to this place, i'th'open air, before I have got the strength of limit" Hermione is effective in asserting her status by reminding the court that despite Leontes best efforts to devalue her, she is not just anyone. "The Emperor of Russia was my father. O that he were alive, and here beholding His daughter's trial!" Hermione identifies the absurdity of Leontes accusations in line 80. "My life stands in the level of your dreams" Shakespeare presents Hermione to be honest despite her situation. "For Polixenes, With whom I am accused, I do confess I loved him as in honour he required" Her honesty here indicates to the audience that she is innocent. The physical effect of Hermione's articulacy is exposed by Leontes' reaction to it. The King, obviously frustrated resorts to crude language to attack the dignity of Hermione. "You had a bastard by Polixenes... Thy brat hath been cast out" However, throughout Leontes' attack, Hermione seems to have the upper hand by retaining respect and politeness. Her use of 'sir' when addressing Leontes only seems to anger him further. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the end of the play, this transpires to be a deception planned by Hermione and Paulina, lasting the course of 16 years. This is only found to be a deception in the concluding scene, where Hermione continues the deception by disguising herself as a statue. Another relevant theme in 'The Winter's Tale' is that of morality. In Act 3 Scene 2 Shakespeare presents Leontes to be lacking in morality by accusing Hermione of the crimes that he is guilty of. Leontes is transferring his guilt of corrupting Camillo to kill Polixenes. "Hermione, Queen to the worthy Leontes... Thou art accused... Conspiring with Camillo to take away the Life of our sovereign lord the king, thy royal husband" In conclusion, Act 3 Scene 2 is essential to the play as a whole. As previously mentioned, this scene completes the first half of the play and a great deal of the following plot relies on it. This scene is a turning point; characters change and situations change such as the one of Leontes. This is effective in sustaining audience's interest and consequently makes the plot less predictable, as is established by the great deal of revelations that follow in the plot. Act 3 Scene 2 is key to establishing three of the main characters and the language Shakespeare employed in this scene best shows these three characters in their element. ...read more.

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