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



Scene III

The king is in his room in deep dejection over the supposed disloyalty of his queen and the fleeing of Polixenes with Camillo. Paulina enters the room of the king despite the guards' stopping her. She tells the king of the new born child and pleads innocence for the queen but Leontes is not willing to listen. He orders Antigonus to burn the child:

"My child? away with't! Even thou, that hast
A heart so tender o'er it, take it hence
And see it instantly consumed with fire;".

Antigonus request the king not to kill the child:

"I'll pawn the little blood which I have left
To save the innocent: any thing possible."

But the king pardons the life of his wife and asks him to abandon the child in some remote place:

"thou carry
This female bastard hence and that thou bear it
To some remote and desert place quite out
Of our dominions, and that there thou leave it".

When Antigonus is gone, a servant informs the king of the arrival of the messengers earlier sent to the oracle of Apollo.




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