Dramatic Irony in "The Winters Tale"   View Details   Create a Copy

Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

"The Winter’s Tale" is a play of jealousy and lost love. When the King of Sicilia becomes increasingly jealous of his best friend King of Bohemia, he becomes so enraged that his actions hunt him for nearly two decades. The King of Sicilia, Leontes, believes his wife Hermione was having an affair with King Polixenes of Bohemia, because of this he plots a murder revenge which is thwarted and then locks his pregnant wife in prison.

When a baby girl is born Queen Hermione and her friend Paulina beg the King to reconsider the notion that the child is illegitimate however, he orders the child to be abandoned. It is soon after that he converses with the Oracle of Delphi and she tells him that the child was indeed his own. Because of his misdeed he’ll be cursed not have a hire until his daughter is found.

Antigonus, the man in charge of abandoning the baby has a dream right before he leaves her. In that dream Hermione tells him to name the girl Perdita and to leave her gold and other tokens. He does this and as he is going to return home he is killed, leaving no hopes of ever finding the girl.. Meanwhile back in the kingdom of Sicilia Hermione and Paulina go into hiding in the King has been left alone as a sort of punishment for his deeds; he believes his wife is dead and has no hope of finding his daughter.

16 years later the son of the Bohemian King falls in love Perdtia and the two attempt to get married but because she is not of noble birth the King of Bohemia intervenes and stops the wedding. However, to escape his father’s wrath the Prince and Perdita they take a ship bound for Sicilia but with the help of Camillo (Leontes former servant) the king follows them.

Once in Sicilia the Prince claims he is on a diplomatic mission from his father, but his cover is blown when King Polixenes also arrives. After this the story of what happened in Bohemian is told and there is a rejoicing when King Leontes realizes the shepherd’s daughter is his daughter he abandoned long ago. They decide to take a journey to see Paulina when they reach her town they find out there has been a statue of Hermione erected. Then to everyone’s astonishment the statue comes alive and everyone is reunited.

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