The Winter's Tale - Paulina and Hermione
Critics have said that in the first movement (Acts I-III): "Hermione and Paulina are models of feminine strength" and "Hermione's passivity is dwarfed by Paulina's dynamism" * How do you respond to these different views of Hermione and Paulina? * What is your opinion of the impact of the two characters on an audience? These two views present conflicting arguments with regards to Hermione (King Leontes' wife) and Paulina (Hermione's assistant). The first argues that the pair display equal amounts of grit whereas the second proposes that Paulina's confrontational approach is more effective than Hermione's dignified docility. On the one hand, it is true that Paulina's dynamism is particularly effective. Her entrance in Act II is both bold and striking. She confidently command's: "the keeper of the prison, call to him. Let him have knowledge who I am". She continues to use imperatives as she takes control of the situation, "conduct me then", "call her" and "withdraw yourselves". Her succinct orders have particular effect due their concise and straightforward nature, which contrasts with the lengthy speeches of the previous scene. He gusto is further shown as the Act progresses when she ignores one of the Lords' commands that she "must not enter" in order to present Leontes with his daughter. Equally, from her request to "let him have knowledge who I am", the audience can
"What do we learn about Leontes in Act 1? How does Shakespeare dramatically portray his character?"
"What do we learn about Leontes in Act 1? How does Shakespeare dramatically portray his character?" James De Vile - 2/10/01 Leontes is King of Sicilia and the main character of the play. However, as always in Shakespeare's tragedies, the would-be hero has a fatal flaw which leads to his downfall. This often takes a long time to surface and be obvious to the reader. But this play differs from other such plays, for example 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Othello'. Othello's fatal flaw is not truly apparent until act IV, when his jealousy first begins to surface, yet in a Winter's Tale, Leontes' paranoia is plain from the outset. We first notice something is amiss when Leontes enters for the second time in act I scene II, enquiring whether Polixenes is "won yet", and will stay. Leontes' wife, the Queen Hermione, proclaims that she has managed to win him over, something Polixenes dismissed earlier by saying "there is no tongue that moves, none, none i'th'world, So soon as yours could win me" (I.2.20-21) to Leontes. Leontes notices this and bluntly states "At my request he would not." This could well be the first sign of Leontes' paranoia. It shows that he sees a bonding between Hermione and Polixenes that enables her to persuade him to stay, where Leontes is powerless. The main blow for Leontes comes when Hermione offers Polixenes her hand: "...I have spoke to th'purpose twice:
How do relationships succeed or fail in the Winter's Tale?
Examine the relationships of Hermione and Leontes, Paulina and Antigonus, and Perdita and Florizel and the ways in which their relationships work or fail to work. How might a Jacobean audience's view of these relationships differ from that of a modern audience? One important area in The Winter's Tale concerns marital relationships. The marriages and relationships of Hermione and Leontes, Paulina and Antigonus and Perdita and Florizel are central to the development of the plot, and the themes of renewal and rebirth. Structurally, Hermione and Leontes start the play and as their marriage breaks down we see Paulina and Antigonus' relationship; then that of Perdita and Florizel when the first marriage has finally broken completely, and that of the second, ended by the death of Antigonus. Hermione and Leontes finish the play with a successful reunion, Paulina remarries, and Perdita and Florizel are married. We see the play as finally a comedy, but also as a tragedy because there is death (Antigonus, Mamillius, Hermione (temporarily)), hence the usual description of The Winter's Tale as a tragicomedy. Hermione and Leontes' relationship [in 1.2] appears at first to be good and mutually affectionate - Leontes expects Hermione to speak, to join in, to be part of his court - Tongue-tied, our queen? Speak you. [1.2.27]. She respects that, in public, he must appear as the master in the
The Winter's Tale - Bohemian Scenes
"The Bohemian scenes are a distraction from the key elements of the play" "The Bohemian scenes provide a welcome contrast to the wintry gloom established before them" How do you respond to these different criticisms of the play? What is your view on the significance of the Bohemian scenes? The two statements agree on the fact that the Bohemian scenes contrast with those based in Sicilia, but offer conflicting views as to the importance and usefulness of the scenes. It is important to highlight these contrasts. The scenes differ in two main ways. First is the natural setting of those in Bohemia with the formal courtliness of Sicilia. The most obvious portrayal of this contrast is through the characterisation and staging of the play. While the Sicilian scenes are based in Leontes' grand court with two kings and Queen Hermione, daughter of "the Emperor of Russia", surrounded by Lords and attendants. In Bohemia the audience is shown a sheep-shearing festival, watched by truly rural characters such as the Shepherd and his son, the Clown. On a more analytical level, this contrast is also made evident through the lines and language of the characters. In Sicilia, Polixenes announces: "My ships are ready, and My people did expect my hence departure Two days ago." In two lines he has shown his importance and grandeur through his reference to "his ships" and "his people".
The Winter's Tale - Leontes
"From sanity to madness in 350 lines". Explore the presentation of Leontes in Act 1 focussing closely on language and imagery As with many of Shakespeare's plays, we are introduced to the protagonist through the conversation of two of the more minor characters. We are instantly made aware of Leontes and Polixenes' friendship. The fact that they were "trained together in their childhoods" combined with the reference to them as the states of which they are head ("Sicilia" and "Bohemia") shows their importance. More interesting is the description of their relationship. Camillo states that: "there rooted betwixt them then such an affection which cannot choose but branch now" Shakespeare's use of tree-like imagery and decision to use the verb "branch" leaves us with two possible interpretations of this sentence. To the first time reader, it probably suggests that their relationship will thrive and proliferate. On second reading, however, this choice of language could be seen as prophetically ironic in the sense that it predicts their divergence in opposite directions. In order for us to understand the background to Leontes' downfall, Shakespeare exposes us to his relationships with the two other protagonists. Leontes refers to Polixenes, who Camillo has already told us is a childhood friend, as "brother". In this circumstance, it is meant as a term of endearment. However,
Leontes - Jealous Tyrant or Moving Figure?
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. His paranoia is also shown in believing that he has 'seen the spider' in his cup, meaning he believes there is a plot to take his life and his crown. Shakespeare seems to suggest that jealousy is more than just an emotion but more like a disability, and through Leontes jealous his systematically destroyed his own life, being the cause of Hermione and Mamillius's death and also the abandonment of his second born, Perdita. The main point that shows Leontes for being
DISCUSS THE ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF CAMILLO IN THE WINTERS TALE
DISCUSS THE ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF CAMILLO IN THE WINTER’S TALE Incidentally, Camillo, one of the lords and counsellors of Leontes introduces the audience to the play, setting the tone of the friendship between the two royal friends Leontes, the king of Sicilia and Polixenes, the king of Bohemia, thereby foreshadowing an incipient rivalry,jealousy,betrayal and reconciliation that would characterize the play, The Winter’s Tale. Camillo being one of the characters to open the play is instructive as to the dominant role he would play in it. Camillo’s trust-worthy character is what makes him the first person Leontes calls to express his suspicion about the perceived closeness between his wife, Hermione and the visiting king Polixenes.Being his confidant,Leontes expects him to have observed the amorous relationship and inform him, but being a man of conscience , he would not just pander to the whim of the king by sharing his flimsy suspicion and without mincing words, he vindicates the queen, ‘I would not be a stander-by to hear my sovereign mistress clouded so without my present vengeance taken,’. It is in this trusted position of a trusted ally that makes Leontes saddle Camillo with the treacherous role of poisoning Polixenes.His response to this order could be a bit ambiguous.Camillo understands the present mood of the king and disobeying him may warrant his
Having closely examined act 1 scene 2 of 'The Winter's Tale' what evidence can you find to explain Leontes jealousy? Do you feel Leontes was already jealous before the start of the scene? If so why?
Having closely examined act 1 scene 2 of 'The Winter's Tale' what evidence can you find to explain Leontes jealousy? Do you feel Leontes was already jealous before the start of the scene? If so why? In act 1 scene 2 of 'The Winter's Tale' by William Shakespeare, King Polixenes announces his departure from Sicilia, however Queen Hermione manages to persuade him to extend his stay after her husband, King Leontes fails to do so. Leontes is seized with jealousy that Polixenes is the father of his pregnant Queen's child. It is not clear at what point in the play Leontes becomes jealous. Leontes jealousy erupts so quickly and with such little cause it is possible his suspicions were aroused before the play begins, however it could be that Leontes just has a suspicious, innately envious nature that needs little real cause to activate it. At the beginning of this scene we learn that Polixenes has been staying in Sicilia for 9 months; "Nine changes of the watery sky hath been". Hermione is pregnant and just about to give birth, therefore it is feasible that Polixenes could be the father. Leontes may suspect that his friend's desire to leave is due to the imminent birth of Hermione's baby "So soon as yours could win me" Polixenes is saying here that if anyone was going to succeed in persuading him to stay it would be Leontes but he really must go back to Bohemia. When Hermione
"The true interest of 'The Winter's Tale' lies not with Leontes but rather with the female characters - abused Hermione, faithful and tenacious Paulina and the beautiful, chaste and innocent Perdita."
"The true interest of 'The Winter's Tale' lies not with Leontes but rather with the female characters - abused Hermione, faithful and tenacious Paulina and the beautiful, chaste and innocent Perdita." To what extent do you agree with this view of the play? In my opinion 'The Winter's Tale' is a play about human error. It is about the mistakes that people can make and how hard it is to forgive oneself for making them. Most of all it about how time can bring healing change. Leontes is the character who best exemplifies all of these themes throughout the play. He is the character whose personality changes most and he is the one who is "resolved". However, the question asks whether the true interest of the play lies not with Leontes but rather with the leading women. It is certainly true that Hermione, Paulina and Perdita are not just predictable stereotypes of women but they are very similar to other female characters from the plays of Shakespeare. The best comparison of these is "abused" Hermione. She has a similar situation to Desdemona from 'Othello'. She is falsely accused and treated unfairly, though the obvious difference is that Hermione does not actually die whereas Desdemona does. The situation of being thought dead however does occur with Hermione. Also, Hermione can be compared to Cordelia from 'King Lear'. Cordelia is honest and true and yet bluntly abused and cast
It has been said that The Winter's Tale falls into two distinct halves. What relationships, if any, can you see between the two parts of the play?
Ruth Norris It has been said that The Winter's Tale falls into two distinct halves. What relationships, if any, can you see between the two parts of the play? In your answer you should: * Make detailed reference to the structure of the play, its language, tone and characterisation. * Relate the idea expressed in the question to your own judgement of the unity in the play, acknowledging that there may be different interpretations possible. * Show understanding of the genre of tragicomedy and the structure and tone of Shakespeare's last plays. There are two clear parts to The Winter's Tale, separated by the passage of Time. The settings in the two halves are very different and different characters drive the plot, for example, in the first half, the action takes place in the court whereas in the second half the scenes are pastoral. However, there are many strong links between the two parts. The themes of forgiveness and regeneration through the innocence and youth of the two kings' children link the misery and wrongs of the first half to the joy at the end, and behaviour is paralleled in the two parts, such as the kings' irrationality. The structure of the play plays an important part in the distinction of the two halves as clearly one era ends, sixteen years pass, and the next begins in a new place. Through time's personification in Act IV, Scene 1, the audience is