Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog
! Error Created with Sketch.

The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 4

Original Text

Modern Text

PAULINA

I should so.
Were I the ghost that walk’d, I’ld bid you mark
Her eye, and tell me for what dull part in’t
You chose her; then I’ld shriek, that even your ears
80Should rift to hear me; and the words that follow’d
Should be ‘Remember mine.’

PAULINA

I should think so. If I were Hermione’s ghost, I’d tell you to look at that new woman’s eyes and tell me what about their dullness attracted you. Then I’d shriek, and your ears would hurt to hear me. And then I’d say, “Remember my eyes.”

LEONTES

Stars, stars,
And all eyes else dead coals! Fear thou no wife;
I’ll have no wife, Paulina.

LEONTES

They were like stars, and next to them all other eyes look like dead coals! Don’t fear, Paulina, I won’t take another wife.

PAULINA

85Will you swear
Never to marry but by my free leave?

PAULINA

Will you swear to never marry unless I give you my permission?

LEONTES

Never, Paulina; so be blest my spirit!

LEONTES

Never, Paulina, on my life!

PAULINA

Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.

PAULINA

Then, my good lords, witness his oath.

CLEOMENES

You tempt him over-much.

CLEOMENES

You test him too much.

PAULINA

90Unless another,
As like Hermione as is her picture,
Affront his eye—

PAULINA

Unless he sees another woman who looks as much like Hermione as her picture—

CLEOMENES

Good madam,—

CLEOMENES

Good madam—

PAULINA

I have done.
95Yet, if my lord will marry,—if you will, sir,
No remedy, but you will,—give me the office
To choose you a queen: she shall not be so young
As was your former; but she shall be such
As, walk’d your first queen’s ghost,
100it should take joy
To see her in your arms.

PAULINA

I’m done. Yet, if my lord decides to marry despite everything, let me choose your queen. She won’t be as young as your former wife, but she’ll be someone who even your first queen would rejoice to see in your arms.