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Wednesday, 25 May 2016
EXPLANATION WITH RTC: THE WINTER'S TALE BY SHAKESPEARE
No, in good earnest. How sometimes nature will betray its folly, Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime To harder bosoms!
No, in good earnest ......... to harder bosoms!
(i) Drama: The Winter's Tale
(ii) Dramatist: William Shakespeare
(i) Occurrence: Act 1, Scene II
(ii) Content: Leontes, king of Sicilia, suspects that his wife Hermione has an affair with his friend Polixenes, king of Bohemia. Her orders Camillo to poison Polixenes. However, Camillo helps Polixenes to escape back to Bohemia. Hermione is thrown into jail and has a baby while imprisoned. The king orders Antigonus to abandon the child. Hermione dies in the jail. Antigonus takes the baby to Bohemia. The little girl is found by a Shepherd and is named Perdita. Camillo, after serving Polixenes sixteen years, longs to return to Sicilia. Polixenes also goes with him in disguise. At a festival, Florizell declares his love for Perdita in front of his disguised father. The king threatens to disown Florizell and execute Perdita. The lovers go to Leontes. Here Perdita's true parentage is revealed and the royal families are reunited.
In these lines Leontes wants to say that affections not felt are disbelieved or despised. When his wife Hermione asks him "Are you mov'd, my lord?", he says, "No, in good earnest". However, this is an ironical statement of Leontes because he is, in fact, agitated; he suspects that there is a torrid affair between his wife Hermione and his friend Polixenes. "No, in good earnest" also connotes that there is no advantage or benefit of being a sincere and honest person. Leontes then contemplates the power of human nature. He wonders how sometimes human nature can seduce a man's foolishness and weakness. He generalizes that the betrayal of human nature makes man the laughing stock of those unsentimental people who have stronger hearts. In short, these lines a a true description of human nature and its power to control passions and sentiments, and thus a perfect example of Shakespeare's aphorism.