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Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Nobility of the Nobles

In the Winter’s Tale nobility is a huge theme. There is the contrast between the king, Leontes, who is a noble, but does not act nobly and his daughter, Perdita, who is a raised as a shepherds daughter, yet still maintains nobility in her character. Nobility is commonly defined as being born of high rank or social class, but true nobility is acting in the was a true king would act, having mercy, justice, love, kindness, and an ear for the truth. Leontes pushes away all these things when he falsely convinces himself of Hermione’s infidelity. Once convinced he is immovable and sentences his wife to death, this is both unjust and listening to lies. Perdita’s actions, on the other hand, show nobility. All the other shepherds can see her natural nobility because her actions and character betrays a more noble birth.

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