Staging Shakespeare’s the Winter’s Tale as Soap Opera Meta-Narrative

Taken on a purely literal level, the ideas involved in this scene are ludicrous: that nobody would recognize that the statue of Leonte’s wife who has supposedly been dead for sixteen years is real, that Hermione would allow herself to be imprisoned for sixteen years, and that Leontes would make a vow to a servant to never remarry. It definitely crosses the line into one of those soap opera plot devices; like when Tad Martin appeared to be die at the hands of Billy Joe Tuggle on All My Children, only to come back from the grave.

The Downfall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth: Opposite Directions on the Same Path

It is also important to understand that the downfall of Lady Macbeth occurs only after she has done the opposite by making the decision to finally begin questioning her amorality. Lady Macbeth only begins to lose her mind once she capitulates to the kind of moral quandary from which she earlier plucked her husband. In the wife’s case it is the decision to think too much that leads to insanity.

Hamlet and the Pointlessness of Revenge

Hamlet’s indecision and unabiding loathing to simply confront and kill Claudius in cold blood stands in marked contrast to the white hot lust for quick and depraved violence that Laertes seeks. Laertes may be said to hearken back to the ancient traditions of an eye for an eye, while Hamlet represents a more enlightened state of mind relative to revenge.