The Winter's Tale

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Polixenes Character Analysis

The king of Bohemia and childhood friend of Leontes. Leontes suspects Polixenes of sleeping with his wife Hermione and tries to get Camillo to poison him. Camillo, though, helps Polixenes escape to Bohemia, where he lives for sixteen years apart from Leontes. In Bohemia, his son Florizell falls in love with Perdita, who appears to be a lowly shepherd’s daughter. Apparently not having learned from the way Leontes alienated himself from his family, Polixenes forbids Florizell from marrying Perdita, causing him to run away to Sicilia. He follows his son there, and finally reconciles with Leontes. Once Perdita’s true identity as Leontes’s daughter is revealed, Polixenes happily agrees to the marriage.

Polixenes Quotes in The Winter's Tale

The The Winter's Tale quotes below are all either spoken by Polixenes or refer to Polixenes. 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 1, Scene 2 Quotes

Press me not, beseech you, so.
There is no tongue that moves, none, none i' the world,
So soon as yours could win me: so it should now,
Were there necessity in your request, although
'Twere needful I denied it.

Related Characters: Polixenes (speaker), Leontes
Page Number: 1.2.26-30
Explanation and Analysis:

Polixenes begins this scene by saying that he must return to Bohemia, since he has been in Sicilia for nine months. He thanks Leontes, who is like a brother, for his hospitality, but says he must part. Leontes asks his friend to stay longer, but Polixenes refuses.

Here Polixenes tells Leontes to drop it, saying that no one could possibly convince him more easily than Leontes, but in this situation, Polixenes must decline by necessity. The Bohemian king is extremely firm in his denial, and his insistence that no one ("no tongue that moves") could persuade him will act as fuel for Leontes' suspicions when Polixenes ultimately becomes convinced to stay. Note the repetition of the word none to enhance the surprising effect of Hermione's successful persuasion moments later.

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We were as twinn'd lambs that did frisk i' the sun,
And bleat the one at the other: what we changed
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd
That any did. Had we pursued that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
Boldly 'not guilty;' the imposition clear'd
Hereditary ours.

Related Characters: Polixenes (speaker), Leontes
Page Number: 1.2.85-94
Explanation and Analysis:

Hermione has persevered and persuaded Polixenes to extend his stay. Now that he's convinced, she takes the opportunity to ask him about his childhood friendship with her husband, Leontes. Polixenes responds with the poetic lines excerpted here, comparing himself and Leontes to "twinn'd lambs that did frisk i' the sun." He describes a picture of complete youthful innocence, saying the pair had no conception of doing wrong and could not even dream that anyone would.

If they had continued in this way of being, Polixenes says, and if they hadn't been raised with strong blood (royal bloodlines and lineage), they would have boldly been able to answer "not guilty" at their final judgment. However, Polixenes will go on to explain that the two men grew up, lost their innocence, and fell in love with their wives. The youthful innocence described here offers stark contrast with the jealous convictions that will soon overtake Leontes and the actions his jealousy will lead him to.

Too hot, too hot!
To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.
I have tremor cordis on me: my heart dances;
But not for joy; not joy. This entertainment
May a free face put on, derive a liberty
From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
And well become the agent; 't may, I grant;
But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,
As now they are, and making practised smiles
As in a looking-glass, and then to sigh, as 'twere
The mort o' the deer; O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows! Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?

Related Characters: Leontes (speaker), Polixenes, Hermione
Page Number: 1.2.139-151
Explanation and Analysis:

When Polixenes and Hermione return from their side conversation, Leontes asks if his friend has yet been convinced; upon learning that Hermione has been successful, Leontes tells her that the only time she spoke to better purpose was the day she pledged her love for him. Leontes doesn't appear to be upset that his wife was able to persuade Polixenes when he was not, even though Polixenes assured Leontes (as in the quote above) that no other tongue could possibly convince him more easily.

When Hermione gives Polixenes her hand, however, Leontes suddenly snaps. He is immediately possessed by jealousy, based only on the evidence of brief hand holding. In an aside, he exclaims, "Too hot, too hot!" The gesture is excessive, and to him seems absolute proof of his wife's guilt. He believes the two seem too familiar, and describes in detail the way they are holding hands, "paddling palms and pinching fingers," all the while making "practised smiles" like they might make in a mirror to appear genuine. Such "entertainment" does not sit well with Leontes, who has worked himself into such a jealous frenzy that at the end of these lines he questions if his son Mamillius is even his own.

Ha' not you seen, Camillo, —
But that's past doubt, you have, or your eye-glass
Is thicker than a cuckold's horn, —or heard, —
—For to a vision so apparent rumour
Cannot be mute, —or thought, —for cogitation
Resides not in that man that does not think, —
My wife is slippery?

Related Characters: Leontes (speaker), Polixenes, Hermione, Camillo
Page Number: 1.2.329-335
Explanation and Analysis:

Leontes has sent Polixenes and Hermione off on a walk; he is now utterly convinced of his wife's infidelity, and believes that everyone in court has known all along. Leontes asks Camillio why he thinks Hermione was able to convince Polixenes to stay, trying to draw the truth out of him. When the confused Camillo does not play along, Leontes speaks the excerpted lines, wondering if Camillo really has not seen what is so plain to him.

He asks, "have you not seen, Camillo"—but stops himself since it is so obvious that he must have seen, unless his "eye-glass / Is thicker than a cuckold's horn." (A cuckold is a term for someone whose spouse cheats on them, often described as wearing figurative horns.) If he hasn't seen, Leontes says, he must have at least heard about the infidelity, since rumors must spread from "a vision so apparent." Leontes goes as far as to say that simply thinking about it will yield the truth, and only a man who does not think would disagree with his conclusions. The single vision, grounded in sight, of the pair holding hands has thus spread to the ear and to thought and become evidence that amounts to absolute proof that Hermione is "slippery."

Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughing with a sigh? —a note infallible
Of breaking honesty —horsing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only
That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why, then the world and all that's in't is nothing;
The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.

Related Characters: Leontes (speaker), Polixenes, Hermione
Page Number: 1.2.346-359
Explanation and Analysis:

To Leontes' assertion that Hermione is slippery, Camillo responds that Hermione is innocent, and that Leontes has never said anything less appropriate than such a false accusation. But Leontes is absolutely convinced, obsessed, and infuriated. Already certain, he looks back on examples of the close friendship between Hermione and Polixenes and retroactively attributes sexual undertones and signs of infidelity to them.

He begins "Is whispering nothing?" suggesting that the two have been known to whisper. He continues listing their supposed behaviors, questioning if any of them could really be nothing. Being close physically? Meeting noses? Kissing? Laughing together? The list goes on to include a romantic desire for time to speed up (note that the obsessed Leontes breaks time down into its deviations and specific hours), and the desire for all eyes to be blind but those of the supposed lovers, so they can act freely while remaining unseen. He asks is all of this nothing?

If so, Leontes concludes that the world and all that it contains is nothing, that the sky is nothing, Bohemia is noting, Hermione is nothing, nothing is nothing if these signs are not proof of what he knows to be true. Leontes has be come so thoroughly convinced that he feels like the fabric of the world and his very reality would cease to exist with the loss of this core belief.

Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

For Polixenes,
With whom I am accused, I do confess
I loved him as in honour he required,
With such a kind of love as might become
A lady like me, with a love even such,
So and no other, as yourself commanded:
Which not to have done I think had been in me
Both disobedience and ingratitude
To you and toward your friend, whose love had spoke,
Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely
That it was yours. Now, for conspiracy,
I know not how it tastes; though it be dish'd
For me to try how: all I know of it
Is that Camillo was an honest man;
And why he left your court, the gods themselves,
Wotting no more than I, are ignorant.

Related Characters: Hermione (speaker), Leontes, Polixenes, Camillo
Page Number: 3.2.65-81
Explanation and Analysis:

Hermione has made her first speech of the trail, but Leontes still does not believe her. Here, Hermione gives another speech in which she attempts to differentiate romantic and platonic love. She says that she loved Polixenes "as in honour he required, / With such a kind of love as might become / a lady like" her. In other words, she loved Polixenes as a friend, as a king deserves to be loved, and furthermore as Leontes, a dear friend to Polixenes, commanded her to.

Hermione goes on to say that if she hadn't loved Polixenes in this way, it would have been actual disobedience and ingratitude, opposing the nonsensical, jealously-based infidelity she is accused of. Hermione has no idea why Camillo left court or what is going on; she maintains that she truly is innocent.

Her claim here that her friendship was non-romantic and ordered by her husband is both clever and unique. By framing the love as a duty to her husband, she masterfully reverses the accusation and seems to act as a faithful wife should. If Leontes were not so possessed by jealousy, it is possible that her argument would have worked. But its uniqueness is also a reason it might seem unbelievable. Her notion of a non-romantic friendship between man and woman would have been uncommon, perhaps even revolutionary during the Renaissance.

O, think what they have done
And then run mad indeed, stark mad! for all
Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it.
That thou betray'dst Polixenes,'twas nothing;
That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant
And damnable ingrateful: nor was't much,
Thou wouldst have poison'd good Camillo's honour,
To have him kill a king: poor trespasses,
More monstrous standing by: whereof I reckon
The casting forth to crows thy baby-daughter
To be or none or little; though a devil
Would have shed water out of fire ere done't:
Nor is't directly laid to thee, the death
Of the young prince, whose honourable thoughts,
Thoughts high for one so tender, cleft the heart
That could conceive a gross and foolish sire
Blemish'd his gracious dam: this is not, no,
Laid to thy answer: but the last, —O lords,
When I have said, cry 'woe!' the queen, the queen,
The sweet'st, dear'st creature's dead,
and vengeance for't
Not dropp'd down yet.

Related Characters: Paulina (speaker), Leontes, Polixenes, Hermione, Camillo, Mamillius, Perdita
Page Number: 3.2.201-222
Explanation and Analysis:

In this stunning speech, Paulina chastises the King at length for his folly and the damage it has wrought. The "they" she refers to in the first quoted line are Leontes' jealous and tyrannical actions, which have caused terrible things to happen, all of which she will outline below.

Leontes betrayed his dear friend Polixenes over "nothing" (note the irony of this term returning after Leontes' earlier speech involving nothing). Leontes would have poisoned Camillo's honor, since he ordered him to commit regicide (kill a king). He cast off his daughter, a cruelty Paulina says surpasses even a devil, and caused the death of his tender son. But the climactic speech ends with a crushing final blow: Hermione too is now dead.

Paulina's fury is a staggering display of emotion and power over the king. This reversal of the natural order shows two traditional dichotomies flipped: subject over king and woman over man. What's more, a few lines later Leontes will say "Go on. Go on. / Thou canst not speak too much." He gives her leave, embracing his anguish and believing himself deserving of bitterness from all tongues.

Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

PERDITA
The fairest flowers o’ th’ season
Are our carnations and streaked gillyvors,
Which some call nature’s bastards. Of that kind
Our rustic garden’s barren, and I care not
To get slips of them.

POLIXENES
Wherefore, gentle maiden,
Do you neglect them?

PERDITA
For I have heard it said
There is an art which in their piedness shares
With great creating nature.

POLIXENES
Say there be;
Yet nature is made better by no mean
But nature makes that mean. So, over that art
Which you say adds to nature is an art
That nature makes.
. . . This is an art
Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
The art itself is nature.

Related Characters: Polixenes (speaker), Perdita (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Seasons
Page Number: 4.4.95-114
Explanation and Analysis:

Polixenes and Camillo have entered the feast in disguise, and now Perdita entertains and gives out flowers as the "mistress o' the feast." Perdita and Polixenes here discuss hybrid flowers known as "nature's bastards," an exchange that is humorous (and dark) since Perdita herself was banished since she was thought to be a bastard. Polixenes says that these flowers should not be neglected, and after a discussion of nature and art (he ultimately says that "art itself is nature"), he tells her not to call these flowers bastards.

Polixenes acceptance of the flowers and instruction not to call them bastards is ironic, since he will soon unknowingly reject Perdita, the supposed bastard (supposedly fathered by him) because he believes her to be a low-born daughter of a Shepherd.

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.

Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

LEONTES
But yet, Paulina,
Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
So aged as this seems.

POLIXENES
O, not by much!

PAULINA
So much the more our carver’s excellence,
Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
As she lived now.

Related Characters: Leontes (speaker), Polixenes (speaker), Paulina (speaker), Hermione
Page Number: 5.3.31-37
Explanation and Analysis:

Most of the play's tension has been resolved, with the reunion and reconciliation of Leontes and Perdita and Leontes and Polixenes taking place off stage in Act 5, Scene 2. Now, the whole group gathers to look at an incredibly lifelike statue of Hermione. Here, Leontes remarks that the statue seems more wrinkled and aged than Hermione ever was. Kind Polixenes jumps in quickly with a remark that she doesn't look aged by much. But Paulina reassures them that the artist has masterfully carved the statue to represent Hermione as she would have looked if she had lived the past 16 years.

This statue needs to be aged properly, of course, since it will soon come to life! In this crucial scene it is unclear whether Paulina brings the statue to life by a spell, introducing the miraculous or supernatural into the play (which is fitting given the absurdity found elsewhere), or if Hermione has been alive all along, waiting to return only when Leontes has fully repented and absolved himself, and is simply pretending to be a statue during this scene.

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Polixenes Character Timeline in The Winter's Tale

The timeline below shows where the character Polixenes appears in The Winter's Tale. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Archidamus is a nobleman from Bohemia visiting Sicilia along with his king Polixenes. He speaks to a Sicilian nobleman named Camillo about how hospitable the Sicilians have been... (full context)
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
Camillo says that Polixenes and Leontes have been close friends since childhood, and Archidamus agrees that “there is not... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
At Leontes’ court, Polixenes tells him that he must be getting back to Bohemia, as he has been in... (full context)
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Hermione takes Polixenes aside and tries to persuade him to stay in Sicilia, but he keeps declining. She... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Leontes asks if Hermione has persuaded Polixenes to stay, and she says she has. Leontes marvels that she convinced Polixenes when he... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
Leontes doubts that he is Mamillius’ father, and is greatly troubled. Hermione and Polixenes ask him why he is upset, and he answers that he is fine, and that... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Leontes tells Hermione to treat Polixenes well as a guest, and Hermione and Polixenes go off to a garden. Leontes is... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
...in his court knows about his wife’s infidelity, and asks Camillo if he saw how Polixenes was only persuaded to stay by Hermione. He asks Camillo why Polixenes agreed to stay... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Leontes says that Polixenes and Hermione whisper together, lean “cheek to cheek,” and touch their noses together. They play... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Leontes asks Camillo to poison Polixenes. Camillo says he is willing to do this, but still refuses to believe that Hermione... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
...if he is to obey his king, he “must be the poisoner / Of good Polixenes.” Thinking that no one who has murdered a king has ever “flourished after,” he decides... (full context)
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Camillo says that there is a “sickness” that has originated in Polixenes himself. Polixenes is confused, but Camillo says he cannot be more specific. Polixenes asks him... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
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Camillo says that there is no oath Polixenes can make that will convince Leontes that he has not had an affair with Hermione.... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Polixenes says he believes Camillo, because he saw Leontes’ contempt for him in his expression. He... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Leontes is looking for Camillo and Polixenes, but one of his lords informs him that the two have both fled Sicilia. Leontes... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
Leontes sends Mamillius away and tells Hermione that she is likely pregnant with Polixenes’ child. Hermione denies this, but Leontes does not believe her. He guesses that the guards... (full context)
Seriousness, Levity, and Humor Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
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...says that he has imprisoned his own wife so that she doesn’t run away like Polixenes. As Leontes leaves, Antigonus comments to himself that the “good truth” of the matter would... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
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Leontes thinks that Camillo and Polixenes are probably laughing at him from afar, but he tells himself not to think of... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
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...himself, who slanders both his wife and his children. Leontes says that the baby is Polixenes’ child, and says that it should be thrown into the fire along with Hermione. Paulina... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
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Hermione says she loved Polixenes “with such a kind of love as might become / A lady like me,” but... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Evidence, Truth, Persuasion, and Belief Theme Icon
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...with it. An officer reads the oracle out loud, which says that Hermione is chaste, Polixenes is innocent, Camillo is “a true subject,” and Leontes is “a jealous tyrant.” It also... (full context)
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
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...Leontes, calling him a tyrant, and enumerating all the evil things he has done, betraying Polixenes, Hermione, and his newborn daughter. She says that Leontes has done more wrongs than he... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
...grieves “the effects of his fond jealousies” and “shuts up himself.” He says that king Polixenes in Bohemia has a son named Florizell, and also tells the audience that Perdita has... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Loyalty, Fidelity, and Honesty Theme Icon
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
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At Polixenes’ palace in Bohemia, Camillo begs Polixenes to let him return to his homeland of Sicilia,... (full context)
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Polixenes asks Camillo if he has seen Florizell recently, who has recently been spending much of... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
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...the festival) compliments Perdita on her beauty. She worries about what will happen if king Polixenes should find them together, since she is only a lowly shepherd’s daughter. Florizell says that... (full context)
Justice and Natural Order Theme Icon
...shepherd who found Perdita when she was a baby, and his son) enter, along with Polixenes and Camillo in disguises. The shepherd tells Perdita to fulfill her duties as “mistress o’... (full context)
Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
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...her speaking, singing, and dancing. Continuing to flirt with her, he asks her to dance. Polixenes mentions to Camillo that Perdita seems noble in her behavior, as if she were more... (full context)
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Polixenes speaks to the shepherd who has adopted Perdita, and learns that Perdita and the young... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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Florizell says he doesn’t plan to tell his father, and Polixenes says that he is wronging his father by marrying without his knowledge or consent. He... (full context)
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...Sicilia. He speaks to Florizell and says that he has been a loyal subject of Polixenes, and will be loyal to Florizell. He encourages Florizell to go to Sicilia, where he... (full context)
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...Florizell to tell Leontes that he comes from Bohemia as a representative of his father Polixenes’ good will. He tells Florizell that Leontes must think Florizell is on good terms with... (full context)
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...and Florizell can safely escape Bohemia. Speaking to himself, he says that he will tell Polixenes about Florizell and Perdita’s escape to Sicilia, so that Polixenes will pursue them there and... (full context)
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...leave. Alone, Autolycus says that he understands what is going on, but will not inform Polixenes, because he prefers dishonesty over honesty, and thinks, “this is the time that the unjust... (full context)
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The shepherd and his son plan to go to Polixenes’ palace. Autolycus overhears them and, pretending to be a noble courtier, asks what business they... (full context)
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...and then stoned to death. He offers to take the shepherd and his son to Polixenes and tells them he will “tender your persons to his presence,” and “whisper him in... (full context)
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...shepherd and his son toward the seashore. They think their only hope is to tell Polixenes that Perdita is not actually the shepherd’s daughter, and believe they are “blessed” to have... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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A servant enters and announces that Polixenes’ son Florizell has arrived with “his princess.” Leontes wonders what has made them come to... (full context)
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...Perdita enter, and Leontes remarks on how Florizell looks exactly like a young version of Polixenes. He welcomes Florizell, and Florizell says that he has come to Sicilia by the command... (full context)
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...“such goodly things” as Florizell and Perdita. Just then, a lord enters and says that Polixenes is in Sicilia, chasing after his son who has fled with a shepherd’s daughter. Camillo... (full context)
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...marries him. Florizell asks Leontes to be his “advocate,” and argue on his behalf to Polixenes. Leontes agrees to try to persuade Polixenes for Florizell, and they leave to find Polixenes. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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The third gentleman says that Leontes and Polixenes reunited joyously, and Leontes begged for Polixenes’ forgiveness. He says that the shepherd’s son explained... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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Leontes, Polixenes, Florizell, Perdita, Camillo, and Paulina all go together to see the statue of Hermione, which... (full context)
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Camillo and Polixenes try to calm Leontes down, and tell him that he has showed enough sorrow over... (full context)
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...he says has proved his “worth and honesty.” Leontes begs pardon from both Hermione and Polixenes that he ever suspected the two of them had an affair. He tells Hermione that... (full context)