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The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest: A Comparison Literature Essay (Essay Sample)


D.A.Traversi said of The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale:
“At the heart of each lies the conception of an organic relation between breakdown and reconciliation, in the divisions created in the most intimate human bonds by the action of time and passion and the final healing of these divisions.”
Write an essay in which you discuss how The Winter's Tale and The Tempest are similar and how they differ in their treatment of how the divisions between the characters are created and how they are healed.


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The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest: A Comparison
William Shakespeare's work in The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest bears some similarities and differences, especially in how the division and healing between the characters are treated. In both plays, the division between the characters is created and characterized by ruthlessness and unsavory practices. In The Winter’s Tale, the division between the main characters occurs after Leontes, the King of Sicilia mistakenly believes that his wife, Hermione, and Polixenes, king of Bohemia and an old friend, are having an affair. In response to this alleged adultery, Leontes becomes ruthless in punishing his “enemies”. He plans to kill Polixenes by poison. He orders his cup-bearer, Camillo, to poison Polixenes, “…-thou mightst bespice a cup, to give mine enemy a lasting wink…(Hudson, 156).” While he is sure that his wife and his friend have been unfaithful to him, he does not even consider the law and justice system and ruthlessly wants to put his enemy through suffering as he eliminates him from the world. This ruthlessness, which is not welcomed by Camillo, forces Camillo to warn Polixenes about his imminent death and they both escape from Sicilia. Also, Leontes shows his ruthlessness towards his wife by imprisoning her, even though she is pregnant. Even after his wife gives birth, he ruthlessly gets rid of the newly born daughter, commanding his servant to “…commend it strangely to some place Where chance may

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