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

The painful moment when Polixenes forbids his son's marriage shows that although Bohemia is a healing place it is not a paradise. What is your response to Shakespeare's presentation of Bohemia in the design of the play as a whole?

Extracts from this document...


The painful moment when Polixenes forbids his son's marriage shows that although Bohemia is a healing place it is not a paradise. What is your response to Shakespeare's presentation of Bohemia in the design of the play as a whole? Base your answer on a detailed examination of two or more sequences from the play. It is evident that a magnificent change takes place between the two settings of "The Winter's Tale", the fraught court of Sicilia and the rural landscape of Bohemia. The end of Act III, even before the entrance of Time in Act IV, marks the play's shift in mood. The scene on the seacoast of Bohemia begins darkly, with the abandonment of Perdita, followed by Antigonus's death at the paws of a ferocious bear. But the sudden appearance of the Shepherd and his son, with their comic dialogue and their discovery of the baby provides the first hint that this may not be a tragedy after all--indeed, it may be instead a classic fairy tale, complete with a lost princess raised in ignorance of her heritage. We are plunged immediately into a world that is completely different from the wintertime Sicilia of the earlier action. ...read more.


This is an example of how love has been able to blossom between the two as Florizel clearly has very different views to Leontes on the importance and equality of women. Perdita has been compared by critics to Proserpina (goddess of spring) in that she, too, brings the spring, she is crowned with flowers, and dispenses them to all the guests, and the audience feels that this "winter's tale" has broken out into spring colour, and it is all due to her arrival. The flowers occasion a debate between Polixenes and Perdita over the value of interbreeding flowers--he argues that a gardener can legitimately "mend nature--change it rather", while she prefers a purer nature, unsullied by human hands. The scene is ironic, however, for Polixenes argues for something in flowers--"you see, sweet maid, we marry / A gentler scion to the wildest stock" that he opposes in his son's case, namely, the mixing of royal and common blood. The Bohemian king forfeits our sympathies almost completely in this scene, for while we may sympathize with his anger at his son, nothing can justify the absurd heights of his cruelty towards the worthy Shepherd and the wonderful Perdita. Here we see Polixenes running parallel to the erratic behaviour of his once best friend. ...read more.


I hold it the more knavery to conceal it, and therein I am constant to my profession". This deliberate evil lacks their capacity for harm. None of his crimes have dire consequences, and his "knavery" actually ends up doing everyone a great deal of good, leaving the audience free to delight in his "constancy," and in his bamboozling of the poor Shepherd and his son, whom he terrifies with promises of the king's vengeance: "He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then 'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a wasp's nest; then stand till he be three quarters and a dram dead; then recovered again...(and) set against a brick wall, the sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he is to behold him with flies blown to death". In conclusion, Bohemia indeed provides comic relief for the audience and can definitely be considered as a 'healing place.' Although we do encounter tragedy in a sense with the forbidding of Florizel and Perditas' marriage, there is always a comic interlude to lift the tension and make things appear rather humorous as opposed to menacing and this is thanks to characters like the Clown and Autolycus. The contrast of Bohemia simply compliments Shakespeare's' tragic-comedy, theses scenes are awash with singing, dancing love and happiness, Sicilia on the other hand being fraught with despair, jealousy and death. Harriet Walker ...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?

    Also, associations with the idea of the Divine Right of Kings are demonstrated through Perdita, and would be very recognisable to Jacobeans. There is a quality about Perdita that makes her special - royals are different inherently and not just privileged - as indicted by Wilson Knight ("...stamp[s] her actions

  2. Parenting is a main element of “The Winters Tale”. Discuss the contrast between Leontes, ...

    This jealously is switched off just as quickly as it is switched on. Leontes seems to realize that, when everything has been taken away from him, he is a lonely person and that it was his actions that drove both his wife and children away.

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

    Hermione's innocence (or guilt) is also of great consequence in the storyline of Florizel and Perdita's romance. If Hermione is guilty and Perdita is Polixenes' daughter then Florizel and Perdita's marriage will be incest. It is unusual that two deaths occur just half way into the play.

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

    All of these incidents are filled with horror, miserly, and deceit. Which fits well with Sicilia(being dark and dull) . we then see act four in Bohemia. This is the longest act in the play and possibly the longest act in all of Shakespeare's play's.

  1. An exploration of Shakespeare’s presentation of the different forms of love in 'The Winters ...

    His irrational nature is also quickly revealed to us: Too hot, too hot! To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods. I have tremor cordis on me: my heart dances; But not for joy; not joy. This speech shows the audience a lot about Leontes character - he is passionate but

  2. The Winter's Tale - Bohemian Scenes

    Even by looking at just one character's behaviour in the two states, we can still highlight the difference. It is also possible to compare the diction of the characters. The Clown's is the most colloquial of all those present in Bohemia: "Let me see, every 'leven wether tods, every tod

  1. "The true interest of 'The Winter's Tale' lies not with Leontes but rather with ...

    As Harold Bloom argues. "Leontes is the Iago to his own Othello". Unlike Othello he does not have anybody to urge on his suspicions and is entirely driven by his own jealousy and paranoia.

  2. Discuss the presentation and significance of the relationship between Florizel and Perdita.

    [?] The blessed gods / Purge all infection from the air / Whilst you / Do climate here? (5.1).

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