Article Title

Hermione's Wrinkles, or Ovid Transformed: An Essay on The Winter's Tale


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

In his Poetics Aristotle grants the playwright considerable freedom to make changes in the stories he dramatizes as long as he does not "undo" their basic sequence of events (14.53b22). Only in a parodistic comedy can Orestes and Aegisthus walk off the stage reconciled (13.53a37). But for two significant exceptions, Shakespeare by and large observes this Aristotelian maxim wherever he has a dominant and well-known source. In King Lear he replaces the restoration of Lear and his peaceful death by the tragic deaths of Cordelia and Lear. In Greene's Pandosto, the source of The Winter's Tale, the queen dies, and the king, despite the happy reunion with his daughter, commits suicide in a fit of melancholy. Shakespeare keeps Leontes alive and in spectacular fashion resurrects Hermione.1

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