The Winter's Tale: Character Profiles

The Winter’s Tale: Character Profiles

  • Leontes: As the King of Sicilia, Leontes falsely accuses his wife, Hermione, of adultery resulting in severe consequences for the kingdom.
  • Hermione: Hermione, Queen of Sicilia, is falsely accused of adultery and displays great dignity and grace throughout her ordeal.
  • Camillo: A nobleman of Sicilia, Camillo plays a key role in the plot - his efforts to moderate Leontes’ irrational jealousy indirectly cause the action of the play.
  • Paulina: Paulina, wife to Antigonus and a staunch defender of Hermione, serves as a voice of reason in the play.
  • Antigonus: A nobleman of Sicilia, Antigonus is loyal to Leontes despite being ordered to abandon Hermione’s baby.
  • Dion & Cleomenes: Two noblemen of Sicilia, Dion and Cleomenes provide a moral counterpoint to Leontes’ jealousy, standing by Hermione and supporting Paulina.
  • Mamillius: Leontes and Hermione’s son whose death represents the tragic consequences of jealousy and pride.
  • Emilia: Emilia, Paulina’s maid, provides crucial testimony about Hermione’s demeanour during her pregnancy.
  • Polixenes: As the King of Bohemia and Leontes’ childhood friend, Polixenes is wrongly accused of adultery with Hermione.
  • Florizel: Florizel, son of Polixenes and lover of Perdita, exemplifies romantic ideals and loyalty.
  • Perdita: Daughter of Leontes and Hermione, but raised by a shepherd, Perdita represents innocence and purity.
  • Shepherd: The Shepherd, who discovers and raises Perdita, represents the common man, with his virtues and flaws.
  • Clown: The cheerful and simple son of the Shepherd, who helps Perdita to return to her Royal status.
  • Autolycus: A former servant of Florizel turned rogue, Autolycus is the play’s comic relief character who also plays a key role in reuniting the scattered family.
  • Minor Characters: A variety of other characters populate the play, including courtiers, servants, and townsfolk, adding to its exploration of societal hierarchies and moral dilemmas.