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

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?

Extracts from this document...


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". ...read more.


Also Polixenes use of the word "Temptations" and "crossed" which could be interpreted in Leontes irrational mind as Polixenes admitting he has been "tempted" by Hermione and that she has "crossed" (betrayed) Leontes. There is a lot of playful conversation between Polixenes and Hermione which is ambiguous to Leontes' maddened mind. Are they flirting or merely teasing? The way in which Leontes converses in this scene tells us of his preoccupied, sombre mood, his first words to Hermione are quite accusatory; "Tongue-tied our queen?" This is slightly ironic as he is describing himself exactly, whereas Hermione has a light-hearted, witty manner. If Leontes were to compare his wife and best friend's speech to each other and their matter-of -fact responses to him, it would be easy to read more into this if his suspicions were already raised: "Polixenes I may not, verily. Hermione Verily? You put me off with limber vows" Although the two kings call each other "brother" and proclaim their affection for each other Leontes is neither polite nor kind to Polixenes; their conversation is a battle of wills, a continuation of rivalry which could derive from their boyhood. ...read more.


Leontes list goes on and he has clearly been watching and agonizing over his suspicions for a while and is now convinced they are having a full blown affair. The extent of his madness is shown when Leontes orders Camillo to poison Polixenes. I think the only evidence that Leontes was jealous before the start of the scene is how rapidly and suddenly he becomes this wild, jealous creature with so little warning and no solid evidence. However, different audiences will interpret Leontes envious rage in different ways according to the way it is construed by the actors. One adaptation could have Leontes plainly scrutinizing Hermione and Polixenes' every move right from the beginning of the play, whereas another interpretation could have Leontes showing little reaction until he suddenly boils over in act 1 scene 2. I can find little evidence in the play that would convince a rational person that Polixenes and Hermione are having an affair; however in Leontes obviously irrational mind any of the points I have mentioned above could arouse his suspicions. ...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. An exploration of Shakespeare’s presentation of the different forms of love in 'The Winters ...

    Hermione's quiet, tragic speeches are very different to Leontes' angry outbursts - the language she uses is so simple but moving that it seems far more believable than Leontes violent imagery. Hermione and Leontes have very different views of their relationship, and, I believe, love in general.

  2. Character Analysis of Queen Hermione

    This is a result of her son not seen by her, her daughter taken away and his -King Leontes- love for her seems to have vanished into the fog of anger and tyranny: Her outspokenness seems to become heightened by that previous statement, and her words become much sharper as she drills her points with grace.

  1. The Winter's Tale - Bohemian Scenes

    It is the presence of Camillo that most strongly maintains Sicilia in the back of the audience's mind as he serves a similar role in both regions. In the context of a dramatic devise, Camillo is used to unite Leontes, Polixenes and Florizel and Perdita, which inadvertently allows Paulina the opportune moment to reveal Hermione.

  2. How do relationships succeed or fail in the Winter's Tale?

    I like the BBC staging; any credibility in Leontes' jealousy would distract from another central theme in the play - the health of the Kingdom when the King is mad. We must see Leontes' jealousy as mad. Jacobeans would see Hermione and Polixenes' 'flirting' as a guest politely and formally kissing his hostess on the cheek.

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

    This watered down version of the earlier happening is comedy to people in Shakespearean times as the situation begins to worsen but all ends up fine. In conclusion I think that the change between tragedy and comedy is a confusing element of "the winter's tale" However Shakespeare uses the parents in the play for both tragedy and comedy.

  2. Leontes - Jealous Tyrant or Moving Figure?

    This technique works to Shakespeare's advantage, as the audience is naturally enthralled in the drama, and feels saddened by his 'saint like sorrow' and it shows that his remorse happens almost as quick as the jealousy began. Shakespeare also uses the idea of redemption to engage with the audience, allowing

  1. Read the following extract from Act I Scene II of the play. How do ...

    In this scene Leontes feels that he mistrusted not just his wife, but his closets friend, Polixenes. The roots of Leontes's jealousy are uncertain. Shakespeare allows him some of the play's most luminous lines in the following metaphor: "And many a man there is, even at this present, / Now

  2. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents Leontes and his turn into jealousy.

    The sudden descent of jealousy in the mind of Leontes is finally confirmed by the aside comment.

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