Romance and Tragedy in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale Essay example

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Romance and Tragedy in The Winter's Tale In The Winter's Tale, the line between romance and tragedy runs thin and almost blends together. The romantic ending would not be possible without the tragic beginning. For example, how could the romance between Leontes and Hermione take place in the end without the almost tragic mistake that Leontes makes in the first three acts of the play? Specific characters are responsible for the way the play turns out, with or without the help of the Fates. Paulina, for example, understands her role and mission as Hermione's friend, and uses her manipulative abilities to influence Leontes. Her faith in the oracle and her vision of the romantic possibilities fuels this responsibility. Perdita's…show more content…
Having Leontes believe that Hermione is dead and raising her esteem in the eyes of Leontes is manipulated by Paulina because she sees herself as responsible for how the romance between the two will eventually work out. Paulina manipulates Leontes by making him aware of the mistake he made and to regret it. "Were I the ghost that walked, I'd bid you mark/ Her eye, and tell me for what dull part in 't/ You chose her; then I'd shriek, that even your ears/ Should rift to hear me, and the words that followed/ Should be, 'Remember Mine.'" (5.1.65) She does not mince words with him, and lets him know exactly what a horrid thing he has done, even sixteen years after the fact. She punishes him by not letting him marry, even to produce an heir, until Hermione rises from the dead, which logically would never happen. Yet, through her power of persuasion, Leontes comes to believe her and trust her wholeheartedly. Furthermore, Paulina's faith in the Oracle gives her strength to do what she knows is right. She says: "There is one worth, / Respecting her that's gone; besides, the gods/ will have fulfilled their secret purposes;/ For has not the divine Apollo said- / . . . That King Leontes shall not have an heir /Till his lost child be found?" (5.1.34-40). Paulina helps strengthen Leontes' faith in the oracle so that when she refers to its prediction, Leontes will be respectful and listen to what she has to say. She directs his thinking through her ability to use persuasive
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