The Winter's Tale

'Tis Time

Leon. No foot shall stir.

Paul. Music, awake her; strike! [Music]

Tis time; descend; be stone no more; approach;

Strike all that look upon with marvel. Come!

I'll fill your grave up: stir, nay, come away:

Bequeath to death your numbness; for from him

Dear life redeems you. You perceive she stirs:

--The Winter's Tale (V.iii.98-103)

Unlike most of Shakespeare's earlier plays, The Winter's Tale moves from tragedy to comedy. The disastrous consequences of Leontes' jealousy and tyranny are resolved by the passing of time. Only after sixteen years can the two royal families come together again. Time also plays a significant role in the reading of the chosen passage. The passage is full of commas, colons, semi-colons, and periods, which force the lines to be slowed and pausing. The frequent punctuations draw the reader's attention to time and its effects on the words being spoken by the characters. The scansion of the passage illustrates Shakespeare's mastery of time as he manipulates the rhythm of the lines using varying foots and meters. Time seems to be the crucial element in not only the scansion of this passage, but in the development of the play as a whole.

Line ninety-eight begins with a half-line consisting...

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