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GCSE: The Winters Tale

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  1. How does Shakespeare present relationships between men and women in The Winter's Tale, and how might a modern audience respond to these realtionships ?

    It seems as though Hermione is a good subservient wife who plays a clear secondary role, but we will see that she also has her own opinions. Hermione's previously mentioned words could be played in a quite satirical manner. She tells Leontes what to say to Polixenes, but at first she doesn't speak directly to Polixenes. Therefore we see that she does pay attention to Leontes. Leontes is initially happy with this: "Well said, Hermione", and we see Hermione is trying to make the marriage happy.

    • Word count: 1718
  2. Justifying Leontes

    The fact that nine months is the time from conception to birth, and Hermione is about to give birth, causes jealousy to begin to build in Leontes over his wife's relationship with Polixenes. In this scene, Leontes develops curtness in his tone towards Hermione and Polixenes that indicates his seething anger. For example, Leontes' first words to Hermione are, "Tongue-tied, our Queen?/Speak you." (1.2.35). Leontes' tone is rude and full of repressed venom; yet Hermione and Polixenes suspect nothing. Leontes jealousy is further justified when Leontes, Polixenes, and Hermione are talking in Act 1, Scene 2.

    • Word count: 635
  3. review for "the winters tale "

    Sixteen years pass and Leontes is left mourning his wife and children. But eventually gets Perdita (Hermione's daughter) back. They are bought to the unveiling of Hermione's statue but instead of being able to observe her beauty, she is bought to life and reunited with Leontes and her family. The play was both a tragedy and a comedy. It had two settings; one was based in Sicilia and the other in Australia. The first half was very much so a tragedy because of all the awful issues Leontes family and friends had to deal with.

    • Word count: 1466
  4. "Shakespeare presents the character of Paulina as nothing more than an interfering and loose-tongued woman.""Paulina is presented by Shakespeare as the voice of reason within the play."How can these views be justified in the text? What is your opinion of

    To make these claims to a king who has already made up his mind is arguably a very dangerous act and one that warrants a great deal of courage from the. Her loyalty to her friends is shown by her desire to save Hermione from Leontes' wrath; In actually going to the gaol herself we see the lengths she is willing to go to, to reverse this injustice. This trait of Paulina is further emphasised by the gaoler's response, when asked if he knows her, "for a worthy lady and one who much I honour."

    • Word count: 814
  5. Explore the way that Shakespeare uses female characters in The Winter's Tale. How far would their roles be acceptable to a modern audience?

    Entertainment, humour, comedy, drama, love, tragedy all play some part in this play making the play overall a success and appealing to a large audience. It is also the representation of women that make it such a success. In 'The Winter's Tale,' the various female characters' representations are significant for the plot. More importantly, with the exception of Paulina, they are portrayed as being passive, obedient characters who are inferior to the male characters. Hermione for example, is the central female character of the play and the cause of Leontes obsessive jealousy.

    • Word count: 1176
  6. How does Shakespeare present the role of women in the play "The Winter's Tale"

    What's more impressive is that Paulina was just Hermione's lady in waiting and she now controls the king of Sicily. Hermione at the start of the play manages to persuade Polixines to stay, the ill fated event that led to Leontes jealous spiral. All she says is, "You shall not go," and Polixines is swayed. Not only does Shakespeare present women as heroic and manipulative, he portrays them as clever, the best example is of Paulina again, who comes up with a bold and daring plan to use Hermione's newborn baby to sway Leontes, this is quite clever of Paulina, but it does fail, she also comes up with the plan of faking Hermione death.

    • Word count: 1473
  7. English Coursework Amy Tongue

    Hermione is a typical 17th century lady and throughout this trial scene she is portrayed as a very calm and dignified character, "I doubt not then but innocence shall make/ false accusation blush, and tyranny/ tremble at patience." In this quote Hermione is saying calmly that when Leontes finds out the truth he will be embarrassed and ashamed that he did not believe his wife. Shakespeare is showing that although Hermione has been falsely accused of having an affair with Polixenes, she does not loose her temper and instead she protests her innocence with a polite attitude, "what I am to say must be but that which contradicts my accusation."

    • Word count: 2905
  8. "The Winter's Tale" written by William Shakespeare.

    To confirm his doubts, Leontes sends two of his lords to Apollo's temple and states that his future actions will depend from Delphos oracle. "Now from the oracle they will bring all; whose spiritual counsel, had shall stop or spur me." [p. 79; ll. 185- 188] Mamillius is deeply affected by his mother's fate and becomes ill. Paulina, the wife of the Lord Antigonus, tries to visit the Queen in prison but is nor allowed to see her. She talks to Emilia, the Queen's Lady, who informs her that the Queen has borne a girl.

    • Word count: 3903
  9. How are women represented in "The Winter's Tale"? How might a modern audience react to this representation?

    Paulina also manages to convince the male characters that Hermione is innocent, indicating a reasonable degree of power. Leontes insults anybody who agrees with Paulina or, more importantly, anybody who disagrees with him, for example, Antigonus, who is Paulina's husband. Shakespeare's portrayal of Leontes, who has a low opinion of the women in the play, reflects predominant contemporary male attitudes. His statement to Antigonus regarding Paulina shows that he expects the man to be dominant, "What? Canst not rule her?"

    • Word count: 2299
  10. Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale

    Despite recognizing her admirable character, the jailer cannot allow Paulina to see Hermione. However, her determination to at least see one of Hermione's attendants in order to check on the imprisoned queen demonstrates Paulina's devotion. When meeting with Emilia, Paulina shows herself smart and strong-willed. She exclaims to Emilia, "I dare be sworn. / These dangerous unsafe lunes i' th' King, beshrew them! / He must be told on't, and he shall. The office / Becomes a woman best. I'll take 't upon me" (II, ii, 35-40).

    • Word count: 1007
  11. In Death and The Maiden, Paulina's struggle is symbolic of the struggle of oppressed nations all over the world. What is the message that Dorfman is trying to express through her? To what extent is he successful?

    In Death and The Maiden, Dorfman introduces the situation where Paulina has kidnapped her oppressor, and is now holding him in her house, tied to a chair. By the end of the play, the audience knows that she wants to kill him, as at the end of Act III, Scene 1, she states that nothing will be lost if one of the men who committed such crimes is killed. "What do we lose? What do we lose by killing just one of them?

    • Word count: 1454
  12. Explore the role of women in 'The Winters Tale'

    This happens in Act 2 sc 1 when Leontes takes Mamilius away from Hermione, she asks, "what is this? Sport?" Leontes takes it to have a more sinister meaning. In Act 2 Sc1 We see how Hermione is able to tune into other people and speak whichever language is appropriate. When Mamilius says he has a story to tell of "sprites and goblins", Hermione knows how to make him feel important, "you're powerful at it". She gives him her undivided attention.

    • Word count: 2462
  13. "The Winters Tale is not so much about the triumph of time but the triumph of women" Examine Shakespeare's presentation of the female characters in the play and assess the significance of the play for a modern audience

    However, it is important to note that the play also focuses on how women triumph with time; Hermione regains her dignity even in her absence, Perdita grows with all the strength and dignity of a princess without ever knowing her true birthright and Paulina triumphs over Leontes and becomes his consul and advisor. This contrasts with the male characters in the play, with time we see Leontes mourn for his wife and child, Camillo long to be back in Sicilia and the death of Antigonus.

    • Word count: 3603
  14. It has been said that in "The Winter's Tale" Shakespeare dramatises the contemporary struggle between masculine and feminine power. In light of this comment, examine the presentation of the relationships between men and women.

    thou provoke him not to strife, Lest haply he do prove unkind, Acknowledge that he is thine head, And hath of thee thy governance, And that thou must of him be led, According to God's ordnance." As the rhyme suggests, appropriate behaviour for men and women was defined by a rigid set of social expectations. Women in Shakespeare's time lived in a male dominated society which, believed that the power in a relationship naturally rested with the husband. It was both his duty, and his right, to keep his wife and children under control, this right was believed to reflect

    • Word count: 3973
  15. Discuss the roles and dramatic significance of the three main female characters in the play "The Winter's Tale"

    Dramatically she is presented as the charming wife and hostess who is better at talking than Leontes. Before the turning point and beginning of the tragic events of the tale occur, we see a realistic and ideal family scene between the heavily pregnant Hermione and her son Mamillius. Her role as a mother is just as important as her role as a wife as exemplified in her dialogue with her son. Although she is hardly able to interact with him because of her pregnancy she settles to have a delightful exchange of words where the young demanding Mamillius tells a story of "sprites and goblins".

    • Word count: 1872
  16. How does Shakespeare present relationships between men and women in The Winter's Tale and how would these relationships be perceived by both a Shakespearian and a contemporary audience?

    Rather The Winter's Tale is useful for its brevity of the depiction of how Shakespeare's contemporaries may have believed women should act. This is successfully carried out through presenting the audience with three women who are effectively caricatures, what T.E. (?) referred to as 'Maids, Wives and Widows,' these represented in The Winter's Tale by Perdita, Hermione, and Paulina, respectively. The relationship between Hermione and Leontes would be seen by a Shakespearian audience as one to approve of and, with regards to this play, it is possibly the most important.

    • Word count: 3323
  17. Response - Status.

    We went through different approaches to present the story across to the audience. We decided that Sam would already be sitting down at the table with Jess, and I would be standing behind him, to show the use of levels, which instantly shows my status compared to Sam's. At first, the scene was straightforward, but we decided to add in freeze-frames, so we could allow character development for ourselves and for the audience's ease of understanding of the situation we included character monologues, where only one person is speaking to the audience about their feelings and the other characters aren't aware of it.

    • Word count: 3799
  18. "How far do you think that the play is about the struggle for power between men and women? In forming your response, evaluate the different critical standpoints & consider the importance of historical context."

    Many critics have lambasted the female characters in his plays as two-dimensional and unrealistic portrayals of subservient women. Others have asserted that the roles of women in his plays were prominent for the time and culture that he lived in. Shakespeare's female characters are presented in a way that females can associate with, as opposed to the stereotypical Clich´┐Ż of acquiescent women often portrayed by male writers. Critic Kathleen McLuskie urges feminists to "assert the power of resistance, subverting rather than co-opting the domination of the patriarchal Bard", I disagree with this statement, and I think that Shakespeare's portrayal is

    • Word count: 2235
  19. What contribution does Paulina make to the concerns and effects of The Winter's Tale?

    When Shakespeare first introduces Paulina to the audience, she is attempting to visit Hermione in prison. Her great power is demonstrated as she intimidates the gaoler who eventually defers to her authority and allows her entry to see her "gracious queen". Shakespeare presents her as an honourable character as although she defies her king, she defends the honesty and honour of Hermione unquestioningly. She then goes to Leontes where we again see her great power and courage. Unlike most women of the time who should have served their husbands she makes her own decisions, saying, "trust it/ He'll not rule me" and as Antigonus tells Leontes, "When she will take the rein, I let her run/ And she'll not stumble".

    • Word count: 718
  20. Consider how play writes make characters speak in play's you have studied and say how the language and tone of these dialogs, conversations, or monologues, contribute to the play as a whole.

    It is a phase asked by Paulina to Gerardo and vice versa. It reflects that they both have hidden secrets, which create separation between them. This separation is created by a lack of openness and trust in the couple. By analysing this quotation we can find another connotation, this one is about the country. The country as well as Paulina and Gerardo, has lots of secrets mainly about abuses and corruption. These hidden secrets are too uncomfortable for being revealed. For instance Paulina's violation is hard to revealed as it deeply hurts Paulina and Gerardo.

    • Word count: 2093
  21. Explore the relationship between Aurora and her grandmother Paulina del Valle in "Portrait of Sepia" by Isabel Allende

    The term "queen" suggests the unreachable distance between the grandparent and grandchild. Also, Paulina is described as an outstanding figure, individual from the rest of the world. "Beside her, the rest of the world disappeared. She had a beautiful voice, a great natural elegance, and white, even teeth, the effect of a perfect set of porcelain dentures" This description suggests that a great deal of respect is formed the first time Aurora meets her grandmother. Lastly, Aurora must have been curious and probably terrified since she hasn't seen anybody similar to Paulina before.

    • Word count: 879
  22. Discuss The Presentation Of Women In The Winter’s Tale.

    Hermione herself admits that "your queen and I be devils," and that "you first sinned with us [women]." However, Hermione is also illustrated as persuasive ("My prisoner, or my guest? - "At the good queen's entreaty"). She is also shown to be a good mother, "take the boy, he so troubles me 'tis past enduring", or "do thy best to fright me with your tales of sprites and goblins." Most importantly, Hermione is depicted as brave and honourable. "'Tis a derivative of me to mine, and only that I stand for." - this shows her braveness as she argues for, not her life, but for that of Mamillius'.

    • Word count: 1715
  23. Although ‘The Winters Tale’ seems to challenge contemporary attitudes towards women, in the final analysis it affirms them, do you agree?

    (John Gaule, 1646) Leontes thinks that Hermione shouldn't be talking to Polixines without his permission. The fact that Leontes is challenging the honesty and fidelity of Hermione could be very damaging; if this had happened to a woman at the time of Shakespeare it would have been devastating to her. In an essay written by Michael Hattaway entitled 'Drama In Society' it says "The virtue of a women depended on her chastity and fidelity" This means that if the sort of accusations Leontes is making were made then her life might as well be over.

    • Word count: 1936
  24. To what extent are Mother Courage and Paulina strong female characters?

    "Mother Courage and her Children" was written in 1938-9 by Bertolt Brecht. The play follows Courage through twelve years of the thirty years war, these being 1624 - 1656. It follows her journey across Europe and how she comes to lose her children to the war. Throughout the play she will not part with her favourite possession and livelihood - the cart. Both Mother Courage and Paulina have basic character strengths. Paulina uses her vocal and mental skills to create an atmosphere where Roberto feels pressure, as so to make him confess.

    • Word count: 1824
  25. “A sad tale’s best for winter. What then is the value of the comic elements of The Winter’s Tale?”

    Shakespeare conforms to his own, and classical tradition, with his approach to seasonal changes, in fortune, "No enemy / But winter and rough weather"2, and tone as the plot progresses into the fourth act of The Winter's Tale. The court of Sicilia is the setting for the tragic suspicions of Leontes; the subsequent flight of Polixenes and Camillo; the trial of Hermione and the fates of the two children, Mamillius and Perdita. The playwright designates Sicilia to be the land that is set in the audience's mind as wintry, bleak and ill fortuned in the first three acts of the play.

    • Word count: 2401

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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