Act I,scene I
Camillo and Archidamus talk at the start- brings together past, present and whats to come.
Past: boyhood of the kings, present: affection for each other future: sicilias hope for it’s
heir. “a gentleman of the greatest promise”
Archidamus: “you shall see, as I have said, great differences betwixt our bohemia and your sicilia”
first speech and already gives hints.
Camillo “Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia”
Ironic contradictions: Leo+Poli love so deeply rooted it
Camillo: “cannot choose but branch now”,- meant to be branch as in extend but could mean
“from the ends of opposed winds” again strange thing to say
Archidamus: “I think there is not in the world either malice nor matter to alter it”, dramatic
irony as there is malice and matter to alter it.
Ominous undertones “if the king had no son…”
Talking in prose (?)
ActI Scene II
Poli changes tone from prose to verse. Poetic language introduces pastoral element into play. Rhythm
of the shared lines is steady, insisting the harmonious relationship between the two.
Poli: “left our throne without a burden” ironic as the burdens beginning.
Poli describes childhood of blissful pastoral innocence. Shows pastoral theme later not out of context.
“Twinn’d lambs that did frisk I’th’sun”
Poli: “there is no tongue that moves, none, none I’th’world so soon as yours could
win me” lies as it’s Hermione who wins his over not Leo!
Hermione ordered to make poli stay: leo: “tongue tied our queen?speak you”
But only doing it for Leo as when convinces poli she immediately asks “I’ll question you
of my lords tricks” “was not my lord the verier wag o’th’two?” showing that only interest in
leontes, knowing much about him and only wants leo to be happy.
Leo: “three crabbed months had soured themselves to death” talking about their wedding
but the imagery used is distorted and corrupt, showing jealously inflicting?
Leo=sudden fit of madness, even son cannot divert his attention.
Verse demonstrates Leo’s mental processes, beating irregularly as his heart “dances, but not for joy-not
. “Too hot, too hot! To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods!” “paddling palms
and pinching fingers” showing madness escalating.
His words fall over their own suggestions and ‘neat’ =(tidy and clean) brings to mind the
name of cattle, horns=cuckold!. APPEARANCE ALTERS DRAMATICALLY. Keeps animal imagery throughout that speech with “you
wanton calf! Art thou my calf?”
Leo: “art thou my boy?” paranoia kicking in. questions own child.
Tries to cover up by drawing attention to his son but laying traps with ironic implications. “I
am angling now” fishing for clues. ‘dear’ is both expensive and beloved.
Imagination rises to fever pitch as they depart. Rhythmns of his speech distorted with hysteria, word play is frantic,
images reveal the obscene imagining in his mind.
Poli: reveals how much he loves his own son “his varying childness cures in me Thoughts that
would thick my blood.” Showing that his son cures him just by being there. Irony as Leo says “so stands this squire
offic’d with me” Mamillius does cure leo but only by his death.
When Hermione and poli leave leo: “go play, boy play; thy mother plays and I play to” menaing
that sends Mamillius to amuse himself, Hermione is with her ‘lover’ and leo performing role of husband who’s
wife is unfaithful.
Paranoia continues: “they’re here with me already: whispering Sicilia is a so-forth”
can’t bring himself to say word. Only just happened and he’s already mistrusts everyone. Leo’s speak deteriorates
Camillo described as a priest “wherein, priest like, though hast cleans’d my bosom”
maintings his honour and loyalty with great respect for leo until leo attacks Hermione. Camillo defends his “sovereign
mistress” “you never spoke what did become you less than this” but leo is unmovable. “Is whispering
nothing? Is leaning cheek to cheek?.... is this nothing? Why , then the world and all that’s in’t is nothing,
the covering sky nothing; bohemia nothing; my wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings if this be nothing.”
Camillo realises that he has a “diseas’d opinion” and
later when talking to poli “there is a sickness” “I cannot name the disease and it’s caught of you,
that yet are well”
Camillo clever-tells king what he wants to hear but with a condition “I do; and will
fetch off Bohemia for’t” “your highness will take again your queen as yours at
‘fetch off’ could mean kill but could also mean take away, rescue.
When Leo leaves Camillo perfectly articulates his dilemma so that audience/reader can be confident
in him and his judgements. No doubt in his and our midns of innocence of Hermione and Poli.
Leo=threatening and nasty to Camillo-= “thou art not honest”, “thou art a coward”,
“your eye-glass is thicker than a cuckolds horn”
Leo horrible to Hermione= “my wife’s a hobby horse” “flax-wench”
Poli gives him praises and appeals to his honour= “your complexions are to me a mirror which
shows me mine chang’d too” “you are certainly a gentleman” “noble names” “which
honour does acknowledge”
Camillo practical=has all arrangements made. “I
am charg’d in honour and by him that I think honourable”
“This jealously is for a precious creature; as she’s rare must it be great; and as his
persons mighty Must it be violent…. His revenge must un that be made more bitter” “gracious queen”
Act 2 Scene 1
Mamillius: “a sad tale’s best for winter”
Blissful domestic tranquillity shattered by Leontes reacting with quick questioning. Movement of verse
reveals agitation of his thoughts- stops and starts, abrupt changes in direction, violent imagery.
“make known How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides with violent hefts. I have drunk
and seen the spider” sinister.
Hermione: “What is this? Sport?”
Leo: “let her sport herself with that she’s big with”
Hermione: “You, my lord, do but mistake”
Leo: “You have mistook, my lady, Polixenes for Leontes”
“goodly bulk” now become “polixenes Has made thee swell thus”- disease/tumour
Insults to Hermione continue: “she’s a traitor” “a bed-swerver” “an
Hermione: “How will this grieve you, when you shall come to clearer knowledge” ironic as
he does grieve.
Hermione dignified- “I am not prone to weeping”…. “but I have that honourable
grief lodged here which burns worse than tears drown”
accepting her predicament with saint-like resignation as a trial for her spiritual strength “this
action I now go on Is for my better grace” “I never wish’d to see you sorry: now I trust I shall”
Leotnes= childish “Shall I be heard?”
Antigonus=blunt farmyard language, challenges leo “In the which three great ones suffer; Yourself,
your queen, your son” blunt, to the point. Stop it as you’re hurting everyone and yourself.
Lord: “the queen is spotless I’th’eyes of heaven”
Antigonus “every dram of woman’s flesh is false if she be”
Leo just responds with more insults “either thou art most ignorant by age Or Thou wert born a
Antigonus: “if the good truth were known” to
audience shows he believes Hermione innocent
Easier mood continues, Paulina shares husbands faith that Hermione’s innocent. “To lock
up honest and honour from th’access of gentle visitors!”
Fearlessly outspoken and logical in her argument. “if I prove honey-mouth’d, ;let my tongue
“The child was prisoner to the womb and is by law and process of nature, thence Freed and enfranchis’d”
Leo tormenting himself- interprets sickness of son as Hermione’s disgrace.
“for present vengeance Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes Laugh at me, make their pastime
at my sorrow”
Paulina upfront, “tyrannous passion”
Paulina presents herself as physician who’d bring nature’s remedy for his disordered sense.
“I come to bring him sleep” “do come with words as med’cinal
as true, Honest, as either, to purge him of that humour That presses him from sleep” “myself your loyal servant,
your physician, Your most obedient counsellor”
“I charg’d thee that she should not come about me. I knew she would” leo fears her.
Paulina no doubts of queen innocence with repetition of “good queen”
Leo responds with insults once more: “mankind witch” “nest of traitors” “Dame
partlet” “A callat” “ gross hag”
Paulina: “it is an heretic that makes the fire, Not she which burns in’t” irony as
he’s made this hell for himself and he’s the one suffering.
Leo violent “the bastards brains with these my proper hands Shall I dash out”
Leo irony: “so shall she have a just and open trial” lies as she doesn’t, condemned
from the start.
Act3 Scene 2
Leo anxious to prove he’s not a tyrant “let us be clear’d of being tyrannous”
“to the guilt or the purgation” not innocence. unfair.
but he’s quick to interrupt and contradict her defence. Hermione remains dignified and controlled in her self-justification. She describes
her feelings but does not give them away until very end of the hearing. “my past life hath been as continent, as chaste,
as true, As I am now unhappy” “for conspiracy, I know not how it tastes, though it be dish’d for me to try
“the bug which you would fright me with I seek”….. “tell me what blessing I
have here alive That I should fear to die” “but for mine honour Which I would free” “appollo be my
Oracles words drop with icy precision “Hermione is chaste; Polixenes blameless; Camillo a true
subject; Leontes a jealous tyrant”
Leo refuses to accept judgement- retribution immediate- son dies. Leo comes to sense and Hermione ‘dies’.
“she will recover” “new woo my queen” leo unrealistic.
Paulina gives long speech to build up fresh suspense.gives list of everything leo’s done “thou
betray’dst Polixenes”, “poison’d good Camillo’s honesty”, “casting forth to crows
thy baby daughter”, “the death of the young prince” and finally
“the queen, The sweet’st, dear’st creature’s dead!”
Paulina rubs it in “the love I bore your queen-Lo, fool again! I’ll speak of her no more,
or of your children, I’ll not remember you of my own lord who is lost too”
Narration= melodramatic but succeeded by comedy with the bear. Changes mood for the pastoral scenes.
“upon the earth of it’s right faher” antigonus believes Hermione’s is adulteress
Horror and pity discovered in Clowns interpretation of events, detail is striking but abrupt subject
switches deflect all emotion.
Clown: “the poor souls roared and the sea mocked them; and how the poor genleman roared and the
bear mocked him”
Shepherd: “some stair work, some trunk word, some behind-door-work”
“Thou met’t with things dying, I with things new-born”
Tragic first part of play= loss despair death to new birth, good fortune.
Act4 Scene 1
Set apart from rest of play, single speech in rhyming couplets. Father of truth.
Mirror image of first part of play- courtly prose. Camillo’s become counsellor, guide and friend
to Polixenes but poli=selfish, silences camillo’s longings to see sicilia with own anxieties. Masks stern reality the
suspicious king set secret agents to watch his own son, theme of deception and disguise
Poli: “Tis a sickness denying thee anything; a death to grant this” using corrupt imagery
“better not to have had thee than thus to want thee”
“I have eyes under my service which look upon his removedness”
“We must disguise ourselves”
tensions of court dispersed by autolycus with a song.
“doth set my pugging tooth on edge”
“I have served Prince Florizel, and in my time wore three pile; but now I am out of service”
“a snapper up of unconsidered trifles”
“beating and hanging are terrors to me”
“a prize!” childlike.
He’s Shakespeare’s own creation . brings humour,
cones clown out of money and the sheep shearing feast become focus of his and audiences attention.
Clever in use of phrasing “I know this man well” “he settled only in rogue. Some
call him Autolycus” claiming been robbed by himself. Not exactly lying!
Clown: looked big and spit at him, he’d have run”
Autolycus: “I must confess to you sir, I am no fighter” irony.
Perdita knows place “Sir my gracious lord” “your high self” “gracious
mark of the land”
Perdita embarrassed by costume “most goddess-like pranked up” only doing it to satisfy
“To think your father by some accident should pass this way as you did” irony as he does,
preparing us for the rest of scene, shows perdita intelligent and logical like mother.
Florizel’s poetic language with amorous gods, only gets practical commonsense response.
Flo. “The transformations were never for a piece of beauty rarer, Nor in a way so chaste”
Per. “you must change this purpose Or I my life”
Perdita ends up in heated discussion with poli about flowers. She doesn’t want to improve on
Irony in what he says “so over that art which you say adds to Nature is an art That Nature makes”
2conceive a bark of a base kind by bud of nobler race” “the art itself is nature” saying mixing bloods is
good thing. Ironic as doesn’t apply this to her and florizel.
Perdita powerful force on stage- given lines of lyrical beauty. Practical Camillo is fascinated and
moved to poetic wonderment “I should leave grazing, were I of your flock And only live by gazing” “The queen
of curds and cream”
Poli: “nothing she does or seems But smacks of something greater than herself Too noble for this
Love between perdita and florizel. Perdita. “no, like a bank for Love to lie and play on, Not
like a corse; or if, not to be buried But quick and in mine arms”
Floriz. “so turtles pair,That never mean to part”
Poli: “Tis time to part them” intended all along to ruin their happiness before he goes
skitzo at them.
“I was wont to load my she with knacks” poli talks about love and affection that you can
buy, not the real love florizel and perdita feel. Florizel realises this “she prizes not such trifles”
perdita “I cannot speak so well, nothing so well; no nor mean better”
florizel: “mark our contract”
poli: “mark your divorce”
perdita described as “excellent witchcraft” poli threatens to “have thy beauty scratched
perdita was “not much afeard; or once or twice I was aout to speak and tlel him plainly the selfsame
sun that shines upon his court hides not his visage from our cottage, but looks on alike”
“I’ll queen it no inch father but milk my ewes and weep”
Camillo seizes on florizels uncertainty and turns it for his own purpose, manipulating actions of characters.
“as if The scene you play were mine”
UP TO PAGE 87 AUTOLYCUS