The Winter’s Tale
September 25, 2013
Directed by Rene Moreno.
Polixenes, King of Bohemia, has been on a nine-month visit to the court of his childhood friend Leontes, King of Sicilia, and his wife, Queen Hermione. Groundlessly, Leontes becomes convinced that his heavily pregnant wife has been having an affair with Polixenes. He tries to persuade his most trusted courtier, Camillo, to poison Polixenes. Convinced of the queen’s innocence, Camillo warns Polixenes and they depart for Bohemia together. Another courtier, Antigonus, is ordered to leave Hermione’s newly born daughter on a desert shore. Leontes tries Hermione for treason: when he denies the truth of the god Apollo’s oracular declaration of her innocence, his son Mamillius dies. He is then told that the queen has also died.
Antigonus leaves the baby girl on the coast of Bohemia, where he is torn to pieces by a bear. An old shepherd and his clownish son find the baby, bring her up as a member of the family, and name her Perdita. Sixteen years later, she is being courted by Polixenes’ son, Prince Florizel, who has disguised himself as a shepherd, Doricles. The roguish peddler Autolycus tricks the shepherds out of money. Polixenes and Camillo come in disguise to the countryside: when the king denounces his son for courting a low-born shepherdess, Florizel and Perdita flee to Sicilia, with the assistance of Camillo. The shepherd and clown follow, bringing tokens that reveal Perdita’s true identity. That which was lost having been found, Paulina, the lady most loyal to Hermione, reveals a statue of the dead queen and tells the assembled company to prepare themselves for a great wonder.
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