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Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale – Conference II, Part 1

Comedy, the conflict of the individual verses society, rules this fourth act. The story now shifts to Bohemia, and we get a sense that this is a simpler land, a land of peace and grace. This is a new world. This new land is protected in some manner, a place of small problems but not large destructive patterns. The infant daughter of Leontes and Herimone, Perdita, who was ordered by her father to be abandoned in the woods to die, was saved and is now 16 years old. She knows nothing of her parentage. She hasm become a woman filled with grace, like her mother Herimone. She has fallen in love with Prince Florizel, son of King Polixenes, and the father has refused the marriage. Camillio, now the good servant to Polixenes, but places loyalty to the truth above loyalty to man, spirits the young couple back to Sicily, knowing that Polixenes will follow. This is a marriage that can bring new life, new order. Purity that was lost is recovered. This act provides the transition needed from the derangement, despair and death of the first thee acts and sets the stage for the reunions and miracle of the last.

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