The Winter's Tale Character Comparison Essay

1525 Words 7 Pages
Who was stronger? What are the differences between a superhero and a villain? Both have power, ingenuity, purpose, and dedication to their cause. But what makes them different? One may be stronger, causing him to win, however it is their character that makes them who they are. Their character is what defines them and makes a statement declaring whether they will be the hero of the story or the villain. In looking at The Winter’s Tale, we wonder who is the stronger woman—stronger in the sense of “having strength of character or will”, and not physical strength (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 1329). The two main woman characters in The Winter’s Tale were Hermione, (the Queen) and Paulina (the wife of a Lord). In The Winter’s Tale, King Leontes …show more content…
Just as Ester went to face King Ahasuerus even though the reality of her situation was dangerous and difficult, Paulina confronted King Leontes with the truth—knowing the reality of her situation. Esther was very courageous, she was determined that, against all odds, she would face the King to save her people. “I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16 English Standard Version). Paulina was courageous in the same way, she was breaking the law by disobeying the King, but she knew that she needed to save the Queen and the baby. Because the society that Paulina lived in was male dominated , woman were not highly valued. The men in the Renaissance believed that woman were too weak to think on their own or make their own decisions. So a woman’s opinion would not have been highly valued. Also, the King held great authority—he had the power to cast Paulina in prison, banish her, or even kill her. If the King threw his own wife in prison, would he do any less to someone of much lower status like Paulina? Even with all these odds against her, Paulina courageously spoke to the King on behalf of Hermione because she cared more about the Queen than herself. When Paulina confronted the king, she was met with great opposition. The Lords wouldn’t even allow her to enter the room (The Winter’s Tale 2.3.24). But she did not obey them. Even her husband ordered her to be silent. …show more content…
After visiting Hermione in prison, she decided, “[I will] undertake to be her advocate to th’ loud’st.” (2.2.38) Paulina was not only Hermione’s advocate, but she would do it passionately and to the best of her ability. Paulina defended the Queen to King Leontes many times— publicly in court, and privately. Another way Paulina showed dedication was the fact that she faithfully provided food, shelter, and care for Hermione year after year until the Queen’s lost daughter came back home to Sicilia—sixteen years later. Throughout the whole tale, Paulina remained constant and dedicated to her friend, the Queen. When the King tossed the Queen into prison, Paulina visited her. When the Queen was in court for her trial, Paulina defended her. When the Queen fainted, Paulina attended to her. During the entire sixteen years, Paulina faithfully ministered to Hermione until she was reunited with her husband. Paulina was dedicated to the Queen and her wellbeing higher than she regarded her own

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