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EXPLANATION WITH RTC: THE WINTER'S TALE BY SHAKESPEARE
Should a villain say so, The most replenish'd villain in the world, He were as much more villain: you, my lord, Do but mistake.
Should a villain .........do but mistake.
(i) Drama: The Winter's Tale
(ii) Dramatist: William Shakespeare
(i) Occurrence: Act 2, Scene I
(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
These lines are spoken by Hermione in response to Leontes' false accusation at her. Leontes has just burst into Hermione's room where she was having a quiet time with her son. Here he accuses her, in no uncertain terms, of adultery, with his friend Polixenes. Hermione receives the first intimation of her husband's jealous suspicions with incredulous astonishment. It is not that, like Desdemona, she does not or cannot understand, but she will not. When her husband accuses her more plainly, she replies with a calm dignity. She says that her husband is not a villain or scoundrel. If a villain had accused her of such a thing, even though he were the perfect villain in the world, his villainy would become double that it was before. She thinks that slinging false accusation of adultery at someone is the meanest act that a villain can do. However, as for husband, he is merely mistaken. He is absolutely wrong in his judgment. In short, Hermione thinks that her husband is not a true villain but a mistaken jealous tyrant.