Story of the Shakespearean Drama (Comedy)
Leontes was the king of Sicily, and Polixenes, the king of Bohemia, was his closest friend. They were raised together and only separated when they reached adulthood and had to take command over their own kingdoms. After several years, when they were both married and had children, Polixenes traveled to Sicily to stay with Leontes.
Leontes was a violent-tempered and fairly foolish guy, and he foolishly believed that his wife, Hermione, preferred Polixenes over him, her husband. He instructed one of his lords, Camillo, to poison Polixenes’ drink, since he was unable to dispel this notion once it had taken root in his mind. Camillo attempted to prevent him from doing this horrible deed, but when he was unmovable, he appeared to agree. He then told Polixenes about the charges against him. That night, he and Polixenes escaped from the Court of Sicily and went back to Bohemia, where Camillo continued to be Polixenes’ friend and advisor.
Leontes imprisoned the queen and her son, the heir to the kingdom. The boy died of grief at seeing his mother tortured so unfairly and brutally by the king, his father.
While the Queen was in prison, she gave birth to a baby, and a friend of hers named Paulina took the baby to the King, hoping that the sight of his helpless little daughter would soften his heart towards his dear Queen, who had never wronged him and who loved him far more than he deserved; but the King refused to look at the baby and ordered Paulina’s husband to take it away in a ship and abandon it in the most desolate place he could find.
The unfortunate queen was then tried for treason for favoring Polixenes over her king, despite the fact that she had never considered anyone other than her husband Leontes.Leontes had sent envoys to the Oracle of Apollo to inquire whether or not his unkind views of the Queen were justified. But since he lacked the patience to wait till they returned, they appeared in the midst of the trial.
But since he lacked the patience to wait till they returned, they appeared in the midst of the trial. The Oracle declared:
“Hermione is innocent; Polixenes is blameless; Camillo is a faithful subject; Leontes is a jealous tyrant; and the King will die without an heir if the missing treasure is not recovered.”
Then a servant arrived and informed them that the prince had died. The unfortunate Queen collapsed in a fit of hysteria upon hearing this, and the King suddenly realized how terrible and wrong he had been. He instructed Paulina and the women accompanying the queen to remove her and attempt to heal her. However, Paulina quickly returned and informed the King that Hermione had passed away.
Finally, Leontes’s eyes were enlightened to his foolishness. His queen was dead, and he had sent away his daughter, who may have been a consolation, for wolves and kites to devour. He had nothing left to live for now. He surrendered to his sorrow and spent his remaining years in prayer and repentance.
The infant Princess was abandoned on the coastline of Bohemia, the very realm ruled by Polixenes. Paulina’s husband never returned to inform Leontes where he had left the infant since he was killed by a bear while returning to the ship. Consequently, he was eliminated.
The abandoned infant, however, was discovered by a shepherd. A piece of paper tied to her coat said that her name was Perdita and that she was the daughter of aristocratic parents.
Kindheartedly, the shepherd carried the infant home to his wife, and they raised it as their own baby. She had little more education than the average child of a shepherd, but she had inherited from her royal mother many graces and charms, making her considerably different from the other young women in her village.
One day, Prince Florizel, son of the honorable King of Bohemia, was hunting near the shepherd’s home when he saw Perdita, now a beautiful adult lady. He befriended the shepherd without revealing that he was the prince, instead telling him that his name was Doricles and that he was a private gentleman, and then, completely in love with the beautiful Perdita, he visited her almost every day.
The King could not understand what was keeping his son away from home practically every day. So he sent people to observe him and discovered that the heir to the throne of Bohemia was in love with the beautiful shepherdess Perdita. To determine if this was true, Polixenes disguised himself and accompanied Camillo, who was also disguised, to the old shepherd’s home. They arrived at the sheep-shearing festival, and despite being strangers, they were made to feel quite welcome. A salesman was selling ribbons, laces, and gloves, which the young men purchased for their sweethearts during the dance.
Florizel and Perdita did not participate in this joyful scenario, but rather sat together silently conversing. The King was unaware that Perdita was the daughter of his old friend Leontes, despite Perdita’s endearing manners and stunning appearance. He told Camillo:
“This is the most beautiful commoner who ever ran on the green grass.” Nothing she does or says does not hint at something bigger than herself; she is too noble for this place.
Camillo said, “She is, in fact, the queen of curds and cream.”
But when Florizel, who did not recognize his father, asked the strangers to witness his engagement to the beautiful shepherdess, the King revealed himself and prohibited the marriage, adding that if she ever saw Florizel again, he would murder her and her elderly shepherd father, and he left them. Camillo, on the other hand, stayed behind because he was smitten with Perdita and wanted to be her friend.
Camillo had heard for some time how remorseful Leontes was for his stupid foolishness, and he yearned to return to Sicily to meet his old master. Now, he suggested that the youngsters go there and demand Leontes’ protection. The shepherd accompanied them, carrying Perdita’s diamonds, baby clothing, and the note he discovered attached to her cloak.
Leontes greeted them with wonderful hospitality. He was quite courteous to Prince Florizel, but his eyes were fixed on Perdita. He saw how much she resembled Queen Hermione and said again and again, “
“My daughter might have been such a wonderful person if I had not brutally sent her away.”
When the old shepherd learned that the King had lost a daughter who had been abandoned on the coast of Bohemia, he was convinced that the child he had raised, Perdita, was the King’s daughter. When he told his story and displayed the jewels and the paper, the King realized that Perdita was indeed his long-lost daughter. He joyfully greeted her and commended the faithful shepherd.
Polixenes went after his son to stop him from marrying Perdita, but when he found out that she was the daughter of an old friend, he was more than happy to give his blessing.
Yet Leontes was not content. He recalled how his beautiful Queen, who should have been at his side to share his delight in his daughter’s happiness, had died as a result of his unkindness, and he was speechless for a considerable amount of time.
“Oh, thine own mother! thine own mother!” then begged the King of Bohemia for forgiveness, then kissed his daughter once again, then Prince Florizel, and finally thanked the old shepherd for all his kindness.
Then Paulina, who had been high in the King’s favor for many years due to her love for the late Queen Hermione, remarked, “I have a statue of the late Queen created by the rare Italian artist Giulio Romano, which took many years to complete. I maintain it in a separate private residence, and since you lost your queen, I’ve been there two or three times every day. “Will it please your Majesty to go and view the statue?”
So Leontes, Polixenes, Florizel, and Perdita, together with Camillo and their servants, walked to Paulina’s home, where a thick purple curtain separated an enclave from the rest of the room, and Paulina, with her hand on the curtain, said:
“When she was living, she was incomparable, and I feel that her resemblance in death surpasses everything you have seen or that man has created.” Therefore, I keep it isolated and alone. However, here it is; look and say, “All is well.”
She then pulled aside the curtain and revealed the statue. The King looked endlessly at the statue of his late wife but remained silent.
“I like your modesty,” remarked Paulina, “it accentuates your awe.” “But talk, is it not like her?”
“It’s practically Hermione,” replied the King; “however, Paulina, Hermione was not as wrinkled or as aged as this seems to be.”
“Oh, not by much,” Polixenes said.
“Al,” answered Paulina, “that is the brilliance of the sculptor, who depicts her to us as she would have been had she lived until now.”
And still, Leontes could not take his gaze away from the statue.
“Had I known,” said Paulina, “that this pitiful picture would have evoked such sorrow and affection from you, I would not have shown it to you.”
However, his sole response was, “Do not pull the curtain.”
“No, you can’t stare much longer,” Paulina said, “otherwise you’ll believe it’s moving.”
“Let be! let be!” cried the King. Would you not believe that it breathed?
Paulina said, “I will pull the curtain; you will believe it is alive shortly.”
“Oh, Paulina,” Leontes said, “you make me remember our twenty years together.”
“If you can handle it,” Paulina replied, “I can move the statue, cause it to descend, and grab you by the hand.” Only you would believe that was the result of evil magic.
“I am willing to see anything you can get her to do,” responded the king.
Because this was not a statue but Queen Hermione in person, the statue jumped from its pedestal, down the stairs, and wrapped its arms around the King’s neck, kissing him repeatedly.She remained concealed from her husband while knowing that he had repented, since she could not fully forgive him until she learned what had happened to her baby.
Now that Perdita had been located, she had forgiven her husband for everything, and their reunion was like a fresh and wonderful marriage.
Florizel and Perdita were married and lived happily for a long time.
To Leontes, his many years of suffering were amply compensated for in the moment when, after lengthy sadness and agony, he felt the arms of his true love around him once more.