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



Scene I

It is a searport in Sicilia. Dion and Cleomenes are discussing the great voice at Apollo's oracle and the message they have brought for the king.

Act III, Scene II

It is a court of justice in Sicilia. Leontes, lords and officers are seated along. The king orders to produce Hermione for trial of adultery. An officer reads the indictment of the charge. Hermione pleads innocence reminding the king of her loyalty and obedience. The sealed message from oracle is brought and read:

"Hermione is chaste;
Polixenes blameless; Camillo a true subject; Leontes
a jealous tyrant; his innocent babe truly begotten;
and the king shall live without an heir, if that
which is lost be not found."

The king refuses to believe the message from the oracle. Suddenly, a messenger rushes in and informs the king of the death of the prince, fulfilling the prophecy that the king shall live as an heirless father. The king realizes his folly and utters:

"Apollo's angry; and the heavens themselves
Do strike at my injustice."

He seeks forgiveness from the heaves vowing:

"I'll reconcile me to Polixenes,
New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo"

Paulina enters and blames the king for his self-earned sorrows and woes: she breaks the news of the death of the prince and the queen. The king laments and orders the queen and the prince be buried in a single grave.


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