Autolycus is a trickster in Bohemia who robs the shepherd’s son, picks pockets at the sheep-shearing festival in Act 4, and tricks both the shepherd and his son to join Florizell’s boat to Sicilia. He is thoroughly (but playfully) dishonest, though he promises the shepherd and his son in Act 5 that he will reform and be an honest man. Autolycus never appears in the play after making this promise, so the sincerity of his promise is left ambiguous.
Autolycus Quotes in The Winter's Tale
The The Winter's Tale quotes below are all either spoken by Autolycus or refer to Autolycus. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of The Winter's Tale published in 2005.).
Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes
Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, his
sworn brother, a very simple gentleman!
Autolycus Character Timeline in The Winter's Tale
The timeline below shows where the character Autolycus appears in The Winter's Tale. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 4, Scene 3
Act 4, Scene 4
...and sell small trinkets. The shepherd’s son calls for the peddler to come sing, and Autolycus enters. He sings about the various wares he is selling, encouraging everyone, “Come buy of... (full context)
...the plan, but Florizell worries about arriving in Sicilia with his shepherd’s costume. Just then, Autolycus enters and brags to himself about how he sold all his cheap trinkets at the... (full context)
Camillo promises to write letters of introduction for Florizell to Leontes. Then, he sees Autolycus and gets an idea. He asks Autolycus to change clothes with Florizell, and Autolycus agrees... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2