The importance of women

Although women were not allowed to act in the public theatres in Shakespeare's day (See: The theatre: The role of women) so that the important roles of Paulina, Hermione and Perdita would all have been played by boys and young men, it is noteworthy that in The Winter's Tale Shakespeare makes three of his strongest and noblest characters female.

Hermione, Paulina and Perdita all:

  • Stand up for what is honourable and right
  • Are threatened by tyrannical male power
  • Are incorruptible.

It is through the love and steadfastness of these women that grace and redemption are brought to Sicilia and Bohemia – both to the countries and the kings.


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