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 The Winter's Tale Study Guide (Choose to Continue)

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The Winter's Tale: Novel Summary: Act 4 Scene 1

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Act 4 Scene 1

Act 4 Scene 1
This scene introduces the character of Time as the chorus. Time states that he is going to jump sixteen years in the story. He reminds the audience that all this time, Leontes has shut himself up, grieving the tragic effects of his jealousy. Time now transports the spectator to Bohemia, and speaks of Florizel, the son of Polixenes, and Perdita, who has been raised as a shepherd's daughter, and has now grown into a graceful young woman.
Analysis
It is unusual for Shakespeare to use a device like this in his plays. He employs the figure of Time to give necessary information to the audience, and also to make the audience fully aware of the passage of many years. The actor playing Time wears wings (see line 4) is old (see line 10) and carries an hour-glass (line 16). He speaks in formal rhyming couplets.




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