Today concludes our work on The Winter’s Tale (or does it?). We’ll read and illustrate scenes from Act V. Here’s a bit of a summary of the action. I’ll post images of the illustrations as they become available!
The Winter’s Tale, Act V, A Brief Summary
We’re back in Sicilia for Scene 1, where Paulina, now a widow, is insisting that King Leontes should never marry again without her approval of the potential wife. Florizel and Perdita arrive, telling Leontes they are married. He welcomes them, enchanted by Perdita and happy to make peace with Polixenes’ son. However, he hears that Polixenes has arrived in town, having come to arrest Florizel for marrying a shepherdess. Begging for help from Leontes, Florizel reveals that the two are not yet married.
Next, Autolycus overhears a conversation which reveals that Leontes has found his daughter, blessed the engagement of Florizel and Perdita, and taken his guests to view a statue of Hermione. He is disappointed, because he had hoped to benefit by revealing the evidence of Perdita’s true identity (papers that had been among her swaddling clothes) which he had gathered, himself.
Finally, all of the royals go with Paulina to visit the statue of Hermione. Leontes mourns his disgraceful behaviour toward his wife, while everyone else wonders at the lifelike qualities of the statue. Paulina boasts that she can make the statue do her bidding, finally revealing that the statue is Hermione herself, who has been alive and waiting for the proper moment to make her return. The families are reunited, and Leontes even plays matchmaker to the widow, Paulina, and his former sevant, Camillo.