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

Winter's Tale Essay on Reference to the Gods and Fate

Extracts from this document...


Adeebah Iqbal Examine Shakespeare's References To The Gods and Fate, Here and Elsewhere in the Play The belief of fate, and the role of the Gods in deciding this fate, was a common conviction held in Jacobean times. It is an occurring theme throughout The Winters Tale, with many references to various Gods and Goddesses being made throughout. In addition, the strength of the values and beliefs held towards prophecy and fate is shown through the faith put into the Oracle, by Hermione and Leontes, as well as their subjects; for example when Hermione is put on trial Leontes believes the words of the oracle over those of Hermione and Polixenes, and Hermione herself suggests that an oracle should be consulted. As well as the symbolic meanings of the various gods, Shakespeare uses various linguistic tools within the extract, these not only convey the characteristics of Florizel and Perdita, but also their feelings about themselves and for each other. ...read more.


Furthermore, the use of pastoral imagery such as "ram" and "bull" juxtaposes the grand lexis used to describe the gods, for example "Golden Apollo" this suggests the strong contrast between the grandeur with which Florizel associates the gods, and therefore himself, compared to a rural lifestyle or people. Also, Both Jupiter and Neptune are changing to "rams" and "bulls" in the extract, this is symbolic of Florizel's "transformation" to look like a "humble swain" out of his love for Perdita; this is yet another example of Florizel likening himself to the gods. In addition, the pre qualifier and compound adjective "fire-robed god" used to describe "Golden Apollo" contains assonance in the "o" sound, as does "Golden Apollo," the assonance of the 'o' is a harmonic sound and further reinforces Florizel's love for Perdita, additionally this is a comparison of their love as being equal to that of Golden Apollo. ...read more.


Perdita is a key example of the theme of not being what you seem; this is seen throughout the novel, for example, it is seen through Autolycus, the rebel, who poses as a nobleman. Another key theme within the play is that of prophecy, for example Leontes consults the oracle who prophesises that "Hermione is chaste...the king shall live without an heir, if that which is lost be not found." This is proleptic of the ending, and reconciliation of the play, when the statue of Hermione is revealed, and also of Leontes' reconciliation with Perdita. In conclusion, both Perdita and Florizel make many references to the Gods and fate. Shakespeare uses lexis which juxtaposes the pastoral language surrounding Perdita with the grand language surrounding the gods and Fate, this shows both Perdita's and Florizel's views on the difference in their background, but also their god-like opinions of each other, therefore reinforcing their strong love for one another. In addition, Shakespeare uses references to fate to create a strong sense of irony within the play, as Perdita is ignorant of her fate as a queen. ...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?

    In Terry Hands' 1986 production, Hermione is clearly flirting, even taking Polixenes' hand to her pregnant belly. In the 1981 BBC production, however, the 'flirting' seen by Leontes is politeness between Hermione and Polixenes and the "paddling palms and pinching fingers" [1.2.114] is Hermione giving her hand to Polixenes, so this production abides by the text in this respect.

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

    It is almost as though he is speaking in stream of consciousness with lots of enjambment. "Thou want'st a rough pash", "And hardening of my brows", "a fork'd one" this image keeps being repeated and each time with more certainty as Leontes is definitely sure that his wife and closest friend have had an affair.

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

    The arrival of Leontes with the news of the secret departure of Polixenes and Camillo creates tension and abruptly changes the tone of the scene. From this point on it is grave and serious. There is much tragedy in this part of the play in the fact that Hermione knows

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

    Again this will keep the interest of audiences and their belief in the play. This scene shows the two extremes of Leontes character. At first egotistical, arrogant and self-centred, the audience witnesses him become humble and resign himself to his penitence.

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

    Shakespeare has made this visible by referring to flowers in Bohemia "the marigold, that goes to bed wi' th' sun and with him rises weeping; these are flowers of middle summer, and I think they are given to men of middle age.

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

    in Bohemia - it could be construed that at this point he exposes his real opinion of Hermione: My dagger muzzled, Lest it should bite its master, and so prove, As ornaments oft do, too dangerous His metaphor suggests that Hermione is nothing more than a possession or adornment.

  1. It has been said that The Winter's Tale falls into two distinct halves. What ...

    By its crudest definition, as was once said, a tragic-comedy is 'half a tragedy and half a comedy.' The Winter's Tale seems to conform to this simple explanation as the first half, with the deaths of Hermione and Mammillius, is tragic, and the second half with the foolery of the Clown and Autolycus, is comic.

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

    Another contrast between the two acts is the language and diction used. The exchange between Florizel and Perdita is gentle and intimate, the young characters address each other with the intimate ?thee? or ?thou? and uses words such as ?dearest? and ?honeysuckles,? it is obvious the two characters have strong feelings for each other.

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