Abstract or Introduction
The primary concern of this paper is to analyse the social structure in Shakespeare`s "The Winter`s Tale" based on values of honesty and loyalty, through two different approaches: The influential capability of women in the play and the animal imagery, used to show depreciation or devaluation of infidel behaviour. This analysis is based on the Arden edition of The Winter’s Tale (2010), a modern critical edition, whose detailed notes and commentary guide us to a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s work.
To achieve this goal, the paper is organized into three main sections, with each of them consisting of sub-sections. In the first section, some information about how women are represented in Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale, the perception of their role and appearance in the social structure in the play is provided. In the second section, the main issues of gender inequality will be discussed with special attention paid to the principles of Primogeniture and Patrilineage and how they affect the position of women.
Moreover, the same section focuses on qualities of honesty and fidelity, which seem to be the fundamental parts of the society in Shakespeare’s play. In contrast to that, the last section, provides examples of figurative language, like animal imagery and discusses how they shape the image of dishonest and unfaithful women. In the conclusion, the most important perspectives discussed in this paper will be demonstrated, and research questions will be offered that could be answered in other research papers in the future.
The first impression one has while reading Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale is that adult male characters are almost omnipotent. The jealous King Leontes interprets falsely the actions of his wife and convinced of being right, no matter what she claims, he orders her imprisonment. Two lords at court and king’s attendants are also shown to take their fate into their own hands. Firstly, Leontes loyal retainer, Camillo - who has been ordered to poison the Bohemian king - decides to warn Polixenes, and the two men flee Sicilia immediately. Secondly, lord Antigonus has been ordered to take Hermione’s child and abandon it in some desolate place. Rather than do so, he decides to follow the directions of a dream and leaves the infant with gold and other objects on a beach in Bohemia.
- Quote paper
- Edlira Xhezairaj (Author), 2022, The (in-)visible Power of Women and the use of Animal Imagery. Evil Characters and Behaviour in Shakespeare’s "The Winter’s Tale", Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1394942