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With Reference to Act I, show how Leontes Jealousy reveals him to be in rebellion with himself

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Introduction

With Reference to Act I, show how Leontes' Jealousy reveals him to be "in rebellion with himself" Although the play ultimately presents itself as a comedy, I believe The Winter's Tale remains a multifaceted presentation of a man's attempt to destroy himself based on a misconception. Shakespeare often toyed with the idea of appearances and reality. In The Winter's Tale, the exploration of this concept enables him to examine a number of underlying ideas. Perhaps one of the most interesting of these, is Shakespeare's presentation of Leontes' journey through the stages of jealousy in the first act until he is, "in rebellion with himself". I believe this "rebellion" that Camillo refers to is both figurative and literal. Figuratively, Leontes is questioning two people who make up a huge part of himself: Mamillius and Polixines. The tangible consequences of this are revealed in the effects on Leontes' sanity, and are reflected in other character's responses. Leontes' jealousy clearly reveals him to be figuratively "in rebellion with himself", as he questions two people who make up an essential part of himself: Polixenes and Mamillius. In the very first scene, Leontes and Polixines are presented as being extremely close, almost like brothers. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, when Leontes is spinning with jealousy and questioning his entire marriage to Hermione, he remains convinced, based only on Mamillius' word, that he is his son. All these points indicate the strength of the bond between Mamillius and Leontes, and the strong parallel between the two. When Leontes' jealousy leads him to question his relationship with Mamillius and Polixenes, it is almost as if he is questioning a part of himself, because his bonds with them are so strong. In this figurative sense, Leontes' jealousy puts him in "rebellion with himself". This inner conflict that Leontes endures as a result of his jealousy is further illustrated by the effect of his accusation on his mind. As his envy grows, Leontes becomes increasingly incoherent, indicating that his jealousy is fighting against so much of himself, that he can no longer use reason to draw conclusions from facts. As a result, be begins to make unfounded leaps of logic in order to justify his jealousy. For example, he implies that, as Hermione has deceived him, all women are "false" and unworthy of his trust. Furthermore, Leontes' use of repetition and oxymorons make it clear that he is becoming increasingly deranged as his suspicion grows. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, Camillo seems to be at war with himself, as result of Leontes' request that he kill Polixenes. Camillo is torn between loyalty to his king and friend, and honesty to Polixenes, who is in danger, although innocent. I believe the angst he experiences is a direct parallel to Leontes' inner conflict, in questioning so much of himself in Mamillius and Polixenes. This parallel helps to emphasize Leontes "rebellion with himself", by putting Camillo through the same thing as a result. Furthermore, the lexical field of disease dominates the conversation between Polixenes and Camillo, in reference to Leontes' suspicion of Polixines and Hermione. The idea of 'diseases' has connotations of something you can't control and that tries to destroy you from the inside. Therefore, using this language suggests that Leontes is in conflict with himself and destroying himself from the inside with this idea. In conclusion, Leontes' jealousy reveals him to be "in rebellion with himself" figuratively, in that he questions a huge part of himself by questioning two people who are so close to him. This inner conflict reveals itself in Leontes' logic, as he becomes increasingly incoherent in the language and arguments he uses. His "rebellion" is also reflected in other characters, such as Camillo, who endure similar struggles, as a result of Leontes' order that he kill Polixenes. ...read more.

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