The Winter's Tale

Camillo’s Influence in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale College

In The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare carries his characters from a court setting in Sicilia to a rural area in Bohemia, and then reconciles the plot in the original court. This play incorporates a pastoral theme by showing the role of providence through the character of Camillo and his role in the union of country and court. Shakespeare uses a combination of corruption and natural peace to reconcile the relationship between Leontes and Polixenes. Camillo, a Lord of Leontes’s and faithful servant to all, plays a key role in this reconciliation and the reunion of the characters at the resolution of the play. In fact, Camillo contributes to the pastoral theme of the play by serving as an influence of providence.

Camillo acts as a good servant and source of truth as he first attempts to convince Leontes of Hermione and Polixenes’s innocence, then reports Leontes’s murder plot to Polixenes and flees to Bohemia with him. Here, Camillo acts as a force of providence by asserting moral choices, protecting the innocent, and defending truth. Though Camillo betrays Leontes and later in the play encourages Florizel’s escape to benefit himself, he still serves as an influence of providence by exhibiting the ideals of felix culpa, or sin...

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