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Word Count: 2,884
The Winters Tale encompasses many different underlying themes within its pages It is important to recognise that the contemporary audience would have reacted to the play very differently to its modern day audience The attitude towards the portrayal of men and women in The Winters Tale has changed greatly over the years along with the transmuting status of women It could easily be argued that the audience in the Middle Ages had many preconceptions of women with the men of the age largely assuming the female sex to be emotive weak feeble or inept It could equally be argued that the modern day audience has come to be far more accepting of women seeing them as capable equals with independent minds With thorough analysis of the characters I aim to discover how the different genders within the play were intended to be depicted how challenging the ideas were and how this has changed over time The central women in The Winters Tale seem to be represented in a favourable light We meet primarily the good and gracious Hermione victim to false allegations and find that she reacts in a very rational manner She comes to accept Leontes unsupported wrath with humility and nobility- Should a villain say soHe were as much more a villain You my lord do but mistake Her reverential tone and calm composure contrasts greatly with Leontes language as we will come to see Hermione maintains her integrity and dignity in the eyes of the audience despite her belief that it has been stained Hermione also seems to posses a sort of feminine wisdom which is evident in the intelligence and in the articulacy of her speeches and we are made to sympathise greatly with her Her appreciation of home values also endears her to us as she explains her grievances to Leontes Your favour I do give lostmy second joy and first fruits of my bodymy third comfortis from my breastmyself
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