The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

A court of Justice.
A courtroom.
Enter LEONTES, Lords, and Officers
LEONTES, lords, and Officers enter.
This sessions, to our great grief we pronounce,
Even pushes ’gainst our heart: the party tried
The daughter of a king, our wife, and one
Of us too much beloved. Let us be clear’d
5Of being tyrannous, since we so openly
Proceed in justice, which shall have due course,
Even to the guilt or the purgation.
Produce the prisoner.
We call this session with great grief and heartache. The defendant is the daughter of a king, my wife, and one I have loved too much. Let me be cleared of acting like a tyrant, since I have been so open about this course of justice, whether it end in guilt or acquittal. Bring out the prisoner.
It is his highness’ pleasure that the queen
10Appear in person here in court. Silence!
It is the king’s request that the queen appear in person in the courtroom. Silence!
Enter HERMIONE guarded; PAULINA and Ladies attending
HERMIONE enters, guarded. PAULIINA and ladies come in with her.
Read the indictment.
Read the indictment.
[Reads] Hermione, queen to the worthy
Leontes, king of Sicilia, thou art here accused and
arraigned of high treason, in committing adultery
15with Polixenes, king of Bohemia, and conspiring
with Camillo to take away the life of our sovereign
lord the king, thy royal husband: the pretence
whereof being by circumstances partly laid open,
thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and allegiance
20of a true subject, didst counsel and aid them, for
their better safety, to fly away by night.
(reads) Hermione, queen of the worthy Leontes, king of Sicilia, you are accused and arraigned for high treason, for committing adultery with Polixenes, king of Bohemia, and conspiring with Camillo to kill our sovereign king, your royal husband. Then, when the plot was accidentally discovered, you, Hermione, against the duty and faith of a loyal subject, advised them to flee by night for safety, and helped them to leave.