Act I, Scene ii
Synopsis of Act I, Scene ii
Polixenes tells Leontes that it is time for him to return to Bohemia. Leontes begs him, unsuccessfully, to stay longer. Leontes then asks his queen, Hermione, to add her voice to his persuasion. She playfully teases and cajoles Polixenes, and eventually he agrees to stay – but Leontes is immediately and wildly jealous. Why, he asks himself, would Polixenes stay at Hermione's request and not his own? Can it be that she has been having an affair with Polixenes? Leontes even starts to wonder whether Mamillius is his own son.
Leontes then seems to overcome his fit of jealousy, and talks to Polixenes about the young Bohemian prince; Polixenes describes how much he loves his son. Leontes urges Hermione to treat Polixenes with love and kindness – but when she goes out into the garden with him, Leontes' jealousy breaks out again, more strongly even than before.
Leontes speaks to Camillo, who has been present throughout the scene. Leontes tells Camillo of his suspicions about Hermione and Polixenes. Camillo is shocked, and speaks up for Hermione, telling the king how wrong he is. He is even more shocked when Leontes asks him to poison Polixenes, threatening Camillo with death if he refuses. To calm the king's immediate anger, Camillo agrees, but later tells Polixenes of Leontes' unfounded suspicions and of his evil intentions. Since Camillo has charge of the palace keys, he arranges to help Polixenes to escape, and to go with him to safety in Bohemia.
Commentary on Act I, Scene ii
Nine changes of the watery star The ‘watery star' is the moon; nine months have passed since Polixenes arrived in Sicilia. Later, we discover that Hermione is in an advanced state of pregnancy; Shakespeare is showing that the length of Polixenes' stay makes it physically possible for him to be the father.
Hath been / The shepherd's note There is no need for Polixenes to say that shepherds have counted the changes of the moon; but there is a reason for Shakespeare to do so - the simple, innocent world of the shepherds is to make a strong contrast in the second half of the play with the atmosphere of Leontes' court created by the end of this scene. Shakespeare is already preparing us for this contrast – as he has already done by introducing growth and nature imagery in scene i. (See: Nature; Birth and growth; and The Pastoral tradition.)
Time as long again There have already been several references in the play to time passing. The significance of time becomes more and more apparent, culminating in the actual appearance of Time as a character in Act IV scene i. (See: Time.)
What may chance / Or breed upon our absence Polixenes is anxious about what may be happening in Bohemia while he is away. However, the choice of the word ‘breed' starts a number of images of birth picked up later by Leontes. (See: Birth and growth.)
Our absence … to make us say Polixenes may be referring to all his courtiers by the use of ‘our' and ‘us', but it is more likely that he is using the royal plural. (See: The royal plural.)
To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong This is the first time we have heard about Polixenes' son, Florizel, who is to feature as an important character in the second half of the play. Hermione's point, that longing to see his son would be a good reason for Polixenes' going, introduces the theme of parent/child relationships which is to be of central significance. (See: Parents and children.)
I love thee not a jar o'th' clock behind / What lady she her lord. Shakespeare stresses Hermione's deep and genuine love for Leontes before we see her starting her playful persuasion of Polixenes.
Force me to keep you as a prisoner Hermione is joking with Polixenes – it is horribly ironic that she will soon herself be kept as a prisoner by her own husband.
Two lads that thought there was no more behind / But …to be boy eternal (‘Behind' here means ‘still to come'.) Polixenes stresses the youthful innocence of himself and Leontes when they were boys. Children as representative of innocence feature in all the Romance Plays (see the end of scene i.) (See: Children.)
We were as twinn'd lambs that did frisk in the sun Lambs are often used as symbols of innocence, especially in the Bible. In The Winter's Tale, they are representative of the innocent pastoral world of the shepherds in which Perdita grows up (see Act IV). (See: The pastoral tradition.)
We knew not / The doctrine of ill-doing … / We should have answer'd heaven / Boldly ‘not guilty', the imposition clear'd / Hereditary ours Polixenes is referring to the concept of original sin – the belief that since the Fall of Adam and Eve into sin in the Garden of Eden, all humans beings have a propensity to sin. Polixenes means that, apart from this inevitable blemish, he and Leontes as boys were free from evil, and could have stood innocent before God at the Last Judgement. (See: Sin and innocence.)
At my request he would not This is perhaps the first note of suspicion – though he speaks lovingly in the next line.
What! Have I twice said well? … / Cram's with praise Hermione's playful conversation and her gentle teasing of Leontes establish her nature for the audience; she is clearly a loving, innocent and good-humoured wife. Leontes' jealousy is therefore seen as all the more outrageous and, indeed, inexplicable.
O would her name were Grace! Polixenes has seemed to imply that women have led them into temptation; Leontes has said that she spoke once before to ‘better purpose'. Hermione playfully says that she hopes it was the opposite of temptation – an act of grace. The idea of grace – especially in its meaning of ‘the love and forgiveness of God' or ‘an act of divine influence'– is an important concept in the play. (See: Spiritual re-creation.)
‘Tis Grace indeed Hermione acknowledges that her love of and acceptance of Leontes as her husband was indeed an act of goodness. These passages appear to refer to the medieval and Catholic idea of marriage as a sacrament, ie. ‘a means of grace'; this has a particular significance for the ending of the play in multiple marriages.
Too hot, too hot! In immediate and totally irrational contrast to Hermione's loving words to him, Leontes suddenly grows suspicious when Hermione takes Polixenes' hand. In this soliloquy, he expresses his passionate fears.
Paddling palms and pinching fingers The alliteration of the plosive ‘p' sounds immediately suggests to the audience how Leontes spits out these words in passionate – though at the moment suppressed – violence.
Nor my brows Traditionally, a cuckold – that is, a betrayed husband – would grow horns on his forehead. Hence the unfortunate nature of Hermione's later comment to Leontes that he seems to have ‘a brow of much distraction'.
They say it is a copy out of mine Leontes wishes to reassure himself that Mamillius is really his son. This implies that he is beginning to wonder whether Hermione has had earlier affairs.
We must be neat As ‘neat' could mean ‘cattle' as well as ‘tidy', and as Leontes is starting to think about the horns of a cuckold, he corrects his choice of word.
How now, you wanton calf! Art thou my calf? Leontes here addressed Mamillius as both ‘you' and ‘thou'. ‘You' is the more formal term when used to a single person. ‘Thou' and ‘thee' would be used to a child, or to a close friend – or to a social inferior. So it may be that the use of ‘thou' here shows Leontes changing to a more affection tone. Hermione addresses Leontes as ‘you' because he is the king. Leontes and Polixenes each address the other as ‘you' because both are of high rank. In this scene, Leontes usually addresses Hermione as ‘thou', indicating their close relationship. (see: Thee, thou and you.)
Can thy dam? May't be? … How can this be? The speech is full of fits and starts, and self-questioning. Leontes appears to be thinking the situation through, and he feels he is coming to logical conclusions, but in reality he is convincing himself of his own poisonous fantasies.
Hardening of my brows… A brow of much distraction Unfortunately Hermione chooses to comment on Leontes' worried ‘brow' just as he has convinced himself that he is a cuckold.
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter Polixenes' love of his son is stressed here, but in Act IV we see that it is, like Leontes' love of Hermione, liable to show itself as possessive and violent. The relationship between parents and children is an important issue in the play. (See: Parents and children; Children.)
Cures in me / Thoughts that would thick my blood The innocence of Florizel, as with Mamillius in Act I scene i, is described as having a healing influence. (See: Disease and healing.)
How thou lov'st us, show in our brother's welcome Leontes apparently urges Hermione to treat Polixenes with all kindness – but objects when she does so. (Leontes here uses the royal plural to speak of himself.)
O'er head and ears a fork'd one The ‘fork' refers to the horns of the cuckold which Leontes is now convinced he has become.
Go play... thy mother plays, and I / Play too There are various meanings of ‘play' here; Leontes tells Mamillius to amuse himself; he comments that Hermione is flirting; and he sees himself as having to pretend to be friendly towards Polixenes. (See: Language in action; The plays and playing.)
So disgrac'd a part Leontes means that Hermione has behaved disgracefully, but in fact this is an unintentional pun on his part. It is he who is dis-graced – that is, lacking grace – which will only be restored when he has fully repented. (See: Language in action; Spiritual re-creation.)
Sluic'd and his pond fish'd The unpleasant, onomatopoeic sound of ‘sluic'd' reflects the crude nature of Leontes' perverted imaginings here.
Physic for't there's none … have the disease ‘The disease' that Leontes means is the faithlessness of women; but in reality the disease is his own jealousy. Although Leontes says that there is no remedy (no ‘physic'), the healing power of innocence represented by children has already been suggested earlier in the play. (See: Disease and healing; Children.)
He would not stay at your petition Ironically, Camillo by his innocent observation inflames the situation; Leontes thinks that his wife's behaviour is already the subject of court gossip.
‘Good' should be pertinent Camillo spontaneously refers to Hermione as good – an epithet which Leontes rejects. Later, in Act II scene iii, Paulina repeatedly and insistently refers to Hermione as ‘the good queen', insisting on her innocence.
Satisfy? Camillo uses the word innocently, meaning that Polixenes has agreed to Hermione's request. But Leontes seems to read a sexual connotation into the word.
Most gracious mistress The association of the word ‘grace' with Hermione is significant. She comes to represent the divine grace, or undeserved forgiveness, which Leontes later needs so urgently. (See: Spiritual re-creation.)
My chamber-counsels, wherein, priest-like, thou / Hast cleans'd my bosom Leontes has trusted Camillo implicitly, and has spoken to him in confidence as he would to a priest in confession.
Is whispering nothing? Is leaning cheek to cheek? … If this be nothing This series of sharp questions, culminating in a series of ‘nothing', reflects Leontes' mounting passion of totally irrational jealousy.
All eyes blind … but theirs This is ironic: it is Leontes who is in fact blind to the truth – that his wife and Polixenes are innocent.
Good my lord, be cur'd / Of this diseased opinion Another image of disease and the necessity of healing. (See: Disease and healing.)
If I had servants ... that bare eyes / To see (Bare means ‘carried', or ‘had') Again, Leontes thinks he alone sees the truth.
Without ripe moving to't? Would I do this? A terrible irony – Leontes is indeed acting without any motive except his own insane jealousy.
To give mine enemy a lasting wink In asking the honest and faithful Camillo to poison Polixenes, Leontes shows the depths of his own depravity.
I'll give no blemish to her honour, none In fact, once Camillo escapes with Polixenes, Leontes openly accuses Hermione of being unfaithful, and has her imprisoned.
A master … in rebellion with himself Shakespeare frequently uses the image that a man is like a kingdom; the head is the ruler, and the passions those who need ruling. Here, Camillo sees that Leontes' passions are rising up and over-ruling his reason. (See also: The nature of humanity.)
Had struck anointed kings The idea that those who strike anointed kings will perish would be a particularly apt comment for Shakespeare's audience, who knew the fate of those who had tried to kill King James I in the Gunpowder Plot. (See: Divine right of kings.)
There is a sickness As earlier in the scene, jealousy is depicted as a virulent disease which infects those who come near. (See: Disease and healing.)
You have touch'd his queen / Forbiddenly. ‘Forbiddenly' comes at the end of Camillo's words, hanging in the air and so striking the audience– as well as Polixenes – most forcibly.
My name / Be yok'd with his that did betray the Best! Polixenes here refers to Judas Iscariot who, as recounted in the Gospels of the New Testament, betrayed Jesus Christ – ‘the Best'. See, for example, Mark 14:43-46.
Avoid what's grown than question how ‘tis born Here, growth imagery refers to Leontes' unnatural jealousy, but for much of the play, especially in the second half, growth is associated with nature and regeneration. (See Themes and significant ideas: Nature; and Birth and growth.)
The gracious queen Again the term ‘grace' is associated with Hermione. (See: Spiritual re-creation.)
Investigating Act I, Scene ii
This is a very long and important scene. So much happens in it that will affect the rest of the play.
- Go through Act 1 sc 2, noting where there are changes of mood and turning-points in the action
- Start making a list of all the references in the play to disease and healing
- Start making a list of all the references in the play to grace
- Shakespeare's play Othello also depicts a man suffering from extreme and irrational jealousy; it is worth comparing the two.
- Compare the breakdown in Othello's language as he is manipulated by Iago into violent jealousy, especially in Act IV scene 1.
- Compare the innocence, and the devoted love for their husbands, of Desdemona (Othello's wife) and Hermione
- Compare images of eyesight – like Leontes, Othello thinks he has the ‘ocular proof', the visible evidence, of his wife's infidelity
- Contrast the self-induced jealousy of Leontes with the way Othello is tricked by Iago.
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, 2for they said, Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people. 3And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4There were some who said to themselves indignantly, Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor. And they scolded her. 6But Jesus said, Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her. 10Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him. 12And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover? 13And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, 14and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? 15And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us. 16And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. 17And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me. 19They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, Is it I? 20He said to them, It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born. 22And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, Take; this is my body. 23And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24And he said to them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. 26And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away, for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. 28But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee. 29Peter said to him, Even though they all fall away, I will not. 30And Jesus said to him, Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times. 31But he said emphatically, If I must die with you, I will not deny you. And they all said the same. 32And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, Sit here while I pray. 33And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34And he said to them, My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch. 35And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. 37And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 39And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41And he came the third time and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand. 43And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard. 45And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, Rabbi! And he kissed him. 46And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48And Jesus said to them, Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled. 50And they all left him and fled. 51And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked. 53And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands. 59Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you? 61But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62And Jesus said, I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven. 63And the high priest tore his garments and said, What further witnesses do we need? 64You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision? And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, Prophesy! And the guards received him with blows. 66And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus. 68But he denied it, saying, I neither know nor understand what you mean. And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, This man is one of them. 70But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean. 71But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, I do not know this man of whom you speak. 72And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times. And he broke down and wept.
1After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. 3And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. 4And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. 6And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. 7For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. 8She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 10And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. 12And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? 13And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. 14And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 17And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. 18And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. 19And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? 20And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. 21The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. 22And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 25Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. 26And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. 27And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. 28But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. 29But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. 30And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. 31But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all. 32And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. 33And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; 34And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 35And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. 37And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? 38Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. 39And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. 40And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him. 41And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. 43And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. 45And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. 46And they laid their hands on him, and took him. 47And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 48And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? 49I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. 50And they all forsook him, and fled. 51And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: 52And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. 53And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. 54And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. 55And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. 56For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. 57And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, 58We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. 59But neither so did their witness agree together. 60And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 61But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 63Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? 64Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. 65And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands. 66And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. 69And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. 71But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
The use by a monarch of the plural pronoun 'we', 'us' and 'our' to indicate that he and she embodies the whole state.
Relating to irony, in which a comment may mean the opposite of what is actually said.
A play involving love, magic and mystery, rather than realism, and often also including music and dance.
The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament scriptures inherited from Judaism, together with the New Testament, drawn from writings produced from c.40-125CE, which describe the life of Jesus and the establishment of the Christian church.
State of disobedience to - and alienation from - God believed to have characterised human beings since the Fall of Adam and Eve.
The disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Bible is known as the Fall of Humankind. Christians believe that humans from then on have had a a predispostion to disobey God.
According to Genesis (the first book of the Old Testament), Adam is the first human being, made in the image / likeness of God, placed in the Garden of Eden and given dominion over the earth.
According to the book of Genesis in the Bible the first woman, said to have been created by God out of Adam's rib, to be his companion.
Disobedience to the known will of God. According to Christian theology human beings have displayed a pre-disposition to sin since the Fall of Humankind.
The place described in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, in which God placed his first human creatures, Adam and Eve.
The opposite of goodness; thoughts and actions which are in opposition to God's will and result in wrongdoing and harm. That which opposes God.
The Bible describes God as the unique supreme being, creator and ruler of the universe.
The final judgement on humankind when all will have to give account of their lives to Christ as Judge.
The act of tempting or something that entices an individual to do wrong. In the Bible, can come from a person's internal desires or from an external evil force such as the Devil.
Undeserved favour. The Bible uses this term to describe God's gifts to human beings.
1. The action of forgiving; pardon of a fault, remission of a debt.
2. Being freed from the burden of guilt, after committing a sin or crime, through being pardoned by the one hurt or offended.
Belonging to the Middle Ages.
1. Sometimes used to denote all Christians
2. Used specifically of the Roman Catholic church.
Religious ceremony which symbolises receiving an inward spiritual grace.
a speech in drama where one character, alone on stage, speaks
Alliteration is a device frequently used in poetry or rhetoric (speech-making) whereby words starting with the same consonant are used in close proximity- e.g. 'fast in fires', 'stars, start'.
a bursting out, or 'explosive' sound made by the lips, as in words beginning with 'b' and 'p'
a man whose wife has been unfaithful to him
The use by a monarch of the plural pronoun 'we', 'us' and 'our' to indicate that he and she embodies the whole state.
A play on the meaning of words, often for comic effect.
The act of turning away, or turning around from, one's sins, which includes feeling genuinely sorry for them, asking for the forgiveness of God and being willing to live in a different way in the future.
A word which suggests the sound it is describing: e.g. 'crackle', 'whisper', 'cuckoo'.
Relating to irony, in which a comment may mean the opposite of what is actually said.
An adjective conveying a quality or attribute regarded as characteristic of the person or thing described
the associated meanings of a word; its implications
The image of God on his throne in heaven surrounded by his angels and ministers to whom he makes announcements and where he may be petitioned.
A person whose role is to carry out religious functions.
1. The part of a service of Christian worship where people say sorry to God for not living according to his will.
2. The practice of privately telling a priest of wrongdoing.
Where the surface appearance of something is shown to be not the case, but quite the opposite. Often done for moral or comic purpose. An ironic style is when the writer makes fun of naive or self-deceived characters.
The attempted assassination of James I of England in 1605 by a group of Catholic dissenters in response to increasing persecution
One of Jesus' twelve disciples. According to the Gospels, he betrayed Jesus to the Jewish authorities in return for 30 pieces of silver and later hanged himself in despair.
From Gospel - Literally 'good news' - used of the message preached by Jesus recorded in the New Testament.
Title given to the four New Testament books which describe the life of Jesus Christ i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
A 'testament' is a covenant (binding agreement), a term used in the Bible of God's relationship with his people. The New Testament is the second part of the Christian Bible. Its name comes from the new covenant or relationship with God.
(c. 4 BCE- c. 30 CE). The founder of Christianity, whose life and teaching are described and interpreted in the New Testament. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew 'Joshua'. He was also given the title 'Christ', meaning 'anointed one' or 'Messiah'.