Essay on A Pagan's Perspective in The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

Essay on A Pagan's Perspective in The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

Length: 795 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A Pagan's Perspective in The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare




Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale depicts a family torn apart as a result of the jealous actions of Leontes, the King of Sicilia. The actions and personality of Leontes can also be

observed in Greek Tragedies by Homer and Sophocles. The relationship between the members of

the royal family portray direct and subtle parallels to the Classical works before it.

Louis Martz comments on the parallels between The Winter's Tale and Greek tragedies in

his article: Shakespeare's Humanist Enterprise: The Winter's Tale. Martz draws several subtle

parallels to Greek Tragedies with references to location, religion, syntax, speech, chronological

actions of a character and the concept of the tragic hero. Comparisons are drawn to the tragedies
of Agamemnon, Oedipus Rex and Antigone. Martz places emphasis on the characters of Leontes

and Hermione, but also to more subtle characters like the Shepherd and Autolycus. The concept

of The Winter's Tale as a trilogy is also introduced by Martz. The defiance of the Oracle, the

death of Mamillius, and the miraculous rebirth of Hermione are also vital aspects of the

tragicomedy discussed by Martz.

In Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, King Leontes is introduced as a jealous ruler, acting

as a good host. His jealousy and suspicion toward his Queen Hermione and to his guest, King

Polixenes is rooted in the fact that Hermione is expecting a child. Leontes does not trust his

Queen's faithfulness and suspects that the unborn child is the son of Polixenes. Martz argues that






the jealousy in Leontes was present even before the opening of the play, but none-the-...


... middle of paper ...


... of that





trilogy, is lying at the foot of the great stature of Athene in Athens. Then the goddess herself

enters, a living presence, to redeem Orestes from his hereditary curse. Should we add this

reminiscence to the other allusions to Greek tragedy and myth that have long been felt in the

statue-scene of The Winter's Tale..."(131.)

The tragedies of Homer, Sophocles and Aeschylus draw important parallels to William

Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. Although many parallels are subtle, they can be observed

through careful examination of both the texts and historical data.



Bibliography:

Works Cited.


1) Martz, Louis L.: Shakespeare's Humanist Enterprise: The Winter's Tale.
Chelsea House Publishers, New York. 1987

2) Shakespeare, William: The Winter's Tale.
Washington Square Press, New York. 1998

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale Essay

- William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale In Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, the playwright introduces his audience to a world blending natural imagery with that of ancient religion. Appearing as nature’s child, Perdita fails to realize her own identity and does not recognize that the flowers she describes mimic her own image. Just as gillyvors are a result of crossbreeding, the shepherdess is essentially one of nature’s bastards since she eventually discovers Porrus has been an adoptive father for her, and Leontes is her biological father....   [tags: William Shakespeare Winter's Tale Essays]

Good Essays
1535 words (4.4 pages)

William Shakespeare 's The Tempest, The Winter 's Tale, And Pericles Essay

- The English Renaissance was a time period in which many great plays, sonnets, and writers became famous. William Shakespeare was the most famous writer to come out of this time period, and is regarded as one of the best English writers of all time. Known for his creative use of words, he wrote thirty-seven plays and one hundred fifty-four sonnets. He even invented new words when there were no words in the English language that truly expressed what he wanted. Influences such as Shakespeare 's culture and family, affected his writing, giving it unique traits that are commonly found in his writing....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet]

Good Essays
1709 words (4.9 pages)

Power of Men in William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale Essay

- Power of Men in William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale It has been said that in "The Winter's Tale" Shakespeare dramatises the contemporary struggle between masculine and feminine power. In light of this comment, examine the presentation of the relationships between men and women. Despite their many differences, contemporary society is now only beginning to realise their equal and respective roles in society. Since the beginning of time a contemporary struggle for equality has been present between masculine and feminine powers....   [tags: European Literature Shakespeare Winter's Tale]

Good Essays
3916 words (11.2 pages)

Essay on William Shakespeare 's The Tempest

- The English Resistance was a time period in which greater plays, sonnets, and writer became famous. William Shakespeare was the most famous writer to come out of this time period and is the best english writer of all time. Known for the creative use of words, he wrote thirty-seven plays and one hundred fifty-four sonnets. He even invented new words, if there were no words in the english language that truly expressed what he wanted. Shakespeare has common characteristics and attributes that he exhibits in his writing; influences by society and family member also affected his writing as well....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet]

Good Essays
1445 words (4.1 pages)

Relationships Between Men and Women in The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

- Relationships Between Men and Women in The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare The Winter's Tale was written in 1611, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The play is one of Shakespeare's romance titles, though it could be more justly referred to as a 'tragi-comedy' due to the instances of accusation, death, repentance and reunion. To successfully study how Shakespeare presents relationships between men and women in The Winter's Tale there are four main relationships to examine - Hermione and Leontes, Paulina and Antigonus, Perdita and Florizel, and Leontes and Paulina....   [tags: Papers Winter Tale Shakespeare Essays]

Good Essays
3205 words (9.2 pages)

The Power of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale Essay

- The Power of The Winter's Tale        Many of Shakespeare's later plays broke with customs of genre. The Merchant of Venice has all the elements of a comedy, but deals with very grave matters and ends ambiguously. Pericles foreshadows the novel in its romantic plot and use of narration. Such plays challenged prevalent Renaissance literary theory which demanded fairly strict adherence to classical values of realism and unity. The Winter's Tale is a self-conscious violation of these expectations, and a jibe at the assumptions behind them....   [tags: Shakespeare Winter's Tale Essays]

Free Essays
1968 words (5.6 pages)

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- Topic: Prince Escalus announces that "Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished" at the end of Romeo and Juliet. Clearly identify and discuss THREE (3) characters who were responsible for the tragic outcome of this play. William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet tells the tale of two star crossed lovers who end their lives because of their love for one another. Rash unadvised decisions, meddling, and dueling matches were the primary factors that affected Romeo and Juliet's deaths. The people who are responsible for their passing are: Friar Laurence, Tybalt, and Romeo himself....   [tags: William Shakespeare]

Free Essays
525 words (1.5 pages)

The Importance of Time in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale Essay

- The Importance of Time in The Winter's Tale   Leon. No foot shall stir. Paul. Music, awake her; strike. [Music] Tis time; descend; be stone no more; approach; Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come. I'll fill your grave up: stir, nay, come away: Bequeath to death your numbness; for from him Dear life redeems you. You perceive she stirs: --The Winter's Tale (V.iii.98-103)   Unlike most of Shakespeare's earlier plays, The Winter's Tale moves from tragedy to comedy. The disastrous consequences of Leontes' jealousy and tyranny are resolved by the passing of time....   [tags: Shakespeare Winter's Tale Essays]

Good Essays
2135 words (6.1 pages)

William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- The drama, Othello by W. Shakspeare, is a play that we can read with a great deal of understanding because we can relate it to our society today and to the people who surrounds us. We often witness acts of racism, gender bashing, evil people and suiciders because of poor self perception. In this play we see examples of everything. Throughout the play several different perceptions of people are shown . Most often the characters, specially Othello perceived Iago as "honest Iago" . I believe that we do not get a clear vision of how Iago views himself....   [tags: William Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
1045 words (3 pages)

William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- William Shakespeare's Othello Every artist needs a subject to draw inspiration from—an idea to develop into a masterpiece. Leonardo da Vinci had Madame Lisa to portray in paint. The Beach Boys had Rhonda to render in rhyme. And William Shakespeare had one of one hundred stories written by Giraldi Cinthio to help him create his masterpiece, Othello. Each artist creates his own interpretation from his source. Shakespeare transformed the core of Cinthio’s story into a tragedy. A tragedy is drama which depicts “a public struggle between larger-than-life protagonists and universal forces” (Glossary 175)....   [tags: William Shakespeare Othello Essays]

Good Essays
2185 words (6.2 pages)