The Winter's Tale

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Florizell Character Analysis

Polixenes’ son and the prince of Bohemia. He falls in love with Perdita and is willing to defy both his father and the norms of social hierarchy by eloping with her, a mere shepherd’s daughter. After his love for Perdita is discovered by Polixenes, Florizell flees to Sicilia, forcing Polixenes to follow him there and reconcile with Leontes. Once Perdita’s true identity as the daughter of Leontes’s is revealed, Florizell is able to marry her without trouble.

Florizell Quotes in The Winter's Tale

The The Winter's Tale quotes below are all either spoken by Florizell or refer to Florizell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of The Winter's Tale published in 2005.
Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

Thou dearest Perdita,
With these forced thoughts, I prithee, darken not
The mirth o' the feast.

Related Characters: Florizell (speaker), Perdita
Related Symbols: The Seasons
Page Number: 4.4.47-49
Explanation and Analysis:

Sixteen years have passed since act 3, making Perdita sixteen years old (ironically, the age at which the Shepherd, in the previous quote, wished "there were no age"). At a a seasonal sheep-shearing festival, Florizell, the son of Polixenes, compliments Perdita on her beauty. The two are in love, but neither knows Perdita's true identity. Because she believes she is not a noblewoman (much less a princess), Perdita is nervous about Polixenes discovering their love. Florizell, however, does not care about social status. He urges his dearest Perdita to let go of her anxious thoughts, begging her not to darken "The mirth o' the feast." Here, the prince combines a call for levity and merriment with the assertion that he is comfortable with a social inversion, or with marrying someone low born. 

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POLIXENES
Mark your divorce, young sir,
Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base
To be acknowledged: thou a sceptre's heir,
That thus affect'st a sheep-hook! Thou old traitor,
I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece
Of excellent witchcraft, who of force must know
The royal fool thou copest with, —

SHEPHERD
O, my heart!

POLIXENES
I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briers, and made
More homely than thy state. For thee, fond boy,
If I may ever know thou dost but sigh
That thou no more shalt see this knack, as never
I mean thou shalt, we'll bar thee from succession;
Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
Far than Deucalion off: mark thou my words:
Follow us to the court. Thou churl, for this time,
Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
From the dead blow of it. And you, enchantment.—
Worthy enough a herdsman: yea, him too,
That makes himself, but for our honour therein,
Unworthy thee, —if ever henceforth thou
These rural latches to his entrance open,
Or hoop his body more with thy embraces,
I will devise a death as cruel for thee
As thou art tender to't.

Related Characters: Polixenes (speaker), Shepherd (speaker), Florizell, Perdita
Page Number: 4.4.490-518
Explanation and Analysis:

Polixenes has discovered that his son plans to marry Perdita without his knowledge. Infuriated, he removes his disguise and tells his son to "mark" his divorce, indicating that he does not approve of (and is in fact disgusted by) the marriage. What's more, he refuses to refer to Florizell as his son, threatening to disown him and remove him as heir to the throne. In this angry speech Polixenes then threatens to hang the Shepherd and to have Perdita's face "scratch'd with briers." 

We have seen many inversions take place in the shift from the first half of the play to the second. Now, it is Polixenes who becomes excessively enraged with his child, threatens death, and abuses his power; Polixenes has replaced Leontes as the tyrant (though he does not here slip into the royal "we" as Leontes did when making his decrees, a possible indication that they will not be carried out, or are not as serious as the order to abandon Perdita, which we know did take place).

Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

Your mother was most true to wedlock, prince;
For she did print your royal father off,
Conceiving you: were I but twenty-one,
Your father's image is so hit in you,
His very air, that I should call you brother,
As I did him, and speak of something wildly
By us perform'd before. Most dearly welcome!
And your fair princess, —goddess! —O, alas!
I lost a couple, that 'twixt heaven and earth
Might thus have stood begetting wonder as
You, gracious couple, do: and then I lost—
All mine own folly —the society,
Amity too, of your brave father, whom,
Though bearing misery, I desire my life
Once more to look on him.

Related Characters: Leontes (speaker), Polixenes, Florizell, Perdita
Page Number: 5.1.157-171
Explanation and Analysis:

This scene returns to Sicilia, and shows Leontes repenting still for his errors that led to Hermione's death. He contemplates remarrying, but says that he will never do it. A servant announces that Florizell has come with his princess unannounced; Paulina remarks that it is shame that Mamillius is not alive, since he would have been the same age as Florizell now. The lines here are Leontes' greeting to the young Bohemian prince.

He begins by saying that Florizell's mother was surely true to wedlock, immediately referencing his own error and accusation of Hermione (either by accident or design). He affirms Florizell's parentage by saying that the young prince is a "print" of his father, and that if he (Leontes) were young, he would call the prince "brother" and think he was Polixenes himself.

Leontes then greets the princess and calls her a goddess. Unknowing of either her true or false lineage, Leontes is pleased with the pair. He then returns to repenting his own folly and all that he has lost, and tells Florizell that he hopes to make amends with Polixenes someday. Here we see that time has made Leontes more wise, reserved, calm, and repentant.

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Florizell Character Timeline in The Winter's Tale

The timeline below shows where the character Florizell appears in The Winter's Tale. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 4, Scene 2
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Polixenes asks Camillo if he has seen Florizell recently, who has recently been spending much of his time at a shepherd’s cottage. He... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
At the sheep-shearing festival, Florizell (dressed up as a shepherd named “Doricles” for the festival) compliments Perdita on her beauty.... (full context)
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
...give out flowers and garlands to all the guests, describing each particular kind of plant. Florizell compliments her beauty again, as well as her speaking, singing, and dancing. Continuing to flirt... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Another group of herdsmen enters and performs a dance. The disguised Polixenes approaches Florizell and asks him about Perdita. Florizell says that he is in love with Perdita, and... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Florizell says he doesn’t plan to tell his father, and Polixenes says that he is wronging... (full context)
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Perdita tells Florizell he should leave, and says she is giving up on her dream of being with... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Camillo talks to himself and realizes that he may be able to use Florizell’s fleeing Bohemia to his advantage, by getting Perdita and him to flee to Sicilia. He... (full context)
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Camillo tells Florizell to tell Leontes that he comes from Bohemia as a representative of his father Polixenes’... (full context)
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Camillo promises to write letters of introduction for Florizell to Leontes. Then, he sees Autolycus and gets an idea. He asks Autolycus to change... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Perdita, Camillo, and Florizell leave. Alone, Autolycus says that he understands what is going on, but will not inform... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
...how lucky he is. He plans to bring the shepherd and the shepherd’s son to Florizell instead of the king, and thinks that Florizell will reward him for it. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
A servant enters and announces that Polixenes’ son Florizell has arrived with “his princess.” Leontes wonders what has made them come to Sicilia without... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
Florizell and Perdita enter, and Leontes remarks on how Florizell looks exactly like a young version... (full context)
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Leontes tells Florizell he has “a holy father,” against whom Leontes has “done sin.” He wishes he still... (full context)
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Florizell admits to Leontes that he and Perdita are not married and not “like to be.”... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
...rich clothes. The shepherd’s son brags to Autolycus that he is now a gentleman, and Florizell called him his brother, while Perdita called the shepherd her father. (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
...Autolycus promises to reform his behavior, and the shepherd’s son says he will swear to Florizell that Autolycus is “as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.” He says... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Leontes, Polixenes, Florizell, Perdita, Camillo, and Paulina all go together to see the statue of Hermione, which is... (full context)
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
...them had an affair. He tells Hermione that their daughter is engaged to Polixenes’ son Florizell. He suggests that everyone should go and fill each other in on what each person... (full context)