Act II, Scene I-Detailed Summary of Winter's Tales: "Winter's Tales" by William Shakespeare



Scene I

Hermione asks the maids to take care of the prince, Mamillius while the prince is not happy in their company. The queen makes him sit near to them and asks him to tell them a merry tale. The king, Leontes, enters the scene discussing the flight of Camillo along the Bohemian king. He accuses his wife before his lords: "She's an adulteress". He takes his son from his wife, the queen. She claims innocence but to no avail. He imprisons the queen. She says she will not weep nor argue. She further says:

"Adieu, my lord:
I never wish'd to see you sorry; now
I trust I shall."

The lords request the king to call back the decision:

"Be certain what you do, sir, lest your justice
Prove violence; in the which three great ones suffer,
Yourself, your queen, your son."

Antigonus argues that the queen is "spotless" and pure:

"It is for you we speak, not for ourselves:
You are abused and by some putter-on
That will be damn'd for't; would I knew the villain,
I would land-damn him".

The lords are not convinced of the decision taken by the king. When they don't stop arguing, the king tells them that he has sent Dion and Cleomenes to Apollo's temple to find an answer if the queen were guilty or not. The king proceeds for public pronouncement of the matter.




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