• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Leontes - Jealous Tyrant or Moving Figure?

Extracts from this document...


Leontes - Jealous Tyrant or Moving Figure? Jealousy is in our human nature and Shakespeare's The Winters Tale shows the pure destructive power that it can hold. We see in The Winters Tale how fickle the minds of powerful people can be and how simple acts can be misconstrued. The first example of this, and the first point towards Leontes being a jealous tyrant is in Act 1 Scene 2 where Leontes states "Too hot, too hot!" commenting on the alleged sexual tension between Hermione and Polixenes 'Paddling palms and pinching fingers'. The plosives in this sentence show the utter anger and disgust he carries over nothing but simple friendship and shows us how sudden an 'infection' can be. The jealousy that Leontes feels is coupled with sense of paranoia believing that everybody is 'whispering' around him and also states that his heart 'dances, but not for joy' giving us a glimpse into what his feelings are at that moment. ...read more.


This way of speech and the constant barrage of insults is met with rational thinking from Hermione, seemingly showing us the irrationalness of Leontes that a woman, who would be very low in knowledge and power in Shakespearian times is more virtuous than 'God's emissary'. Personally I believe that Leontes does show the general traits of being a jealous tyrant, such as the misuse of power and threat of death, giving his 'enemy an lasting wink'. But he isn't a generic tyrant, as he instantly regrets what he has done leading me to believe that personally he isn't a bad person, just quick to judge. The view that the audience understands and is able to engage with Leontes is also a valid argument in the sense that Leontes presents a wide variety of emotions and experiences to the audience. This relates to the audience as most of them will have shared these very same feeling in their lives. ...read more.


This thought impacts with the audience as some will agree with the ending, that he did enough in the sixteen years to find a new appreciation and love towards them. Whereas the other half of the audience will disagree, and believe that he is still a murderer and doesn't deserve any forgiveness. But none the less he will still manage to move the audience. Altogether I believe that Leontes does have an impact on the audience whether or not you feel the ending was good or not. I believe that Leontes has a momentary lapse of judgement and paid for it with everything, and this personally moves me to believe that he should have some closure in his grief. I also believe that the audience will recognise he is a jealous tyrant that deserved what he got but no matter what the audience's beliefs of the ending is that it will always move the audience in either love or hate, therefore succeeding in a character. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Winter's Tale section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Winter's Tale essays

  1. How do relationships succeed or fail in the Winter's Tale?

    Leontes implies her apparent death to be divine retribution on him for denying the oracle (the extent of Leontes' reliance of his false beliefs is indicated by his initial refusal to believe the oracle), just as he deems Mamillius' death to be so, [3.2.143-144].

  2. Examine Act 3 Scene 2 and consider its importance in the development of the ...

    Paulina's language is unforgiving towards Leontes. Grief-stricken, Paulina produces a catalogue of Leontes' crimes before finally informing him that his wife is dead. Paulina is relentless in her denunciation of Leontes, comparing him to the devil. "Though a devil Would have shed water out of a fire ere done't" Paulina's

  1. "What do we learn about Leontes in Act 1? How does Shakespeare dramatically portray ...

    The affectionate exchanges between father and son take on twisted double-meanings, and alternate with bitter asides and obsessive digressions. The ordinary, domestic setting contrasts heavily and painfully with Leontes' distorted perception of reality. The King sees normally insignificant, meaningless things as clear deceitful acts.

  2. The Winter's Tale - Bohemian Scenes

    respect ad dignity with which her mother referred to her father at the play's opening ("sir" and "lord"). This purity is further emphasised by her worry later in the scene that Autolycus may use "scurrilous words in's tunes." The purity of their relationship is also shown through the Shepherd's observation.

  1. Act 1 of "The Winter's tale",

    Leontes drifts off and watches from afar as she entices him to stay with them. The body language between them is supposedly quite close, but this is normal behaviour between two people who have just spent about 9 months in each others company.

  2. Having closely examined act 1 scene 2 of 'The Winter's Tale' what evidence can ...

    Hermione and Polixenes do not pick up on this and unknowingly make the situation worse by walking off hand in hand. Hermione is undoubtedly innocent but the audience may also interpret her as na�ve as she is so oblivious to her husbands' jealousy and her ill-chosen words could possibly increase Leontes raging jealousy, for example Hermione calling Polixenes her "friend".

  1. The Winter's Tale: Tragedy in Acts 1-3.

    to dramatic tension and contributes to Leontes eventual realising of his mistakes. There is further confirmation of tragic workings in the play when Leontes asks Camillo to poison Polixenes, ' To give mine enemy a lasting wink;' we can see that Leontes is now having murderous thoughts and is on the brink of madness.

  2. Some critics have claimed that the structure of "The Winters Tale is clumsy - ...

    We then turn to Bohemia were we only spend one single day , Also it is in one single act. Maybe this is meant to signify simplicity and youth in Bohemia. The total passage of time between our visits of Bohemia and sicilia is sixteen years represented to us by Father Time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work