The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 5 Scene 3
No Fear Act 5 Scene 3 Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

PAULINA draws a curtain, and discovers HERMIONE standing like a statue
Paulina draws a curtain to reveal Hermione, standing like a statue.
I like your silence, it the more shows off
25Your wonder: but yet speak; first, you, my liege,
Comes it not something near?
I like your silence. It shows how awed you are. But you, my lord, answer first—doesn’t it look like her?

LEONTES

Her natural posture!
Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
30In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina,
Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
So aged as this seems.

LEONTES

Just as she stood! Reprimand me, dear stone, that I say that you are indeed Hermione. Or rather, don’t reprimand me, since you are so like her and she had a tender nature. But still, Paulina, Hermione wasn’t this wrinkled and not as old as this statue appears.

POLIXENES

O, not by much.

POLIXENES

Oh, not at all.

PAULINA

35So much the more our carver’s excellence;
Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her
As she lived now.

PAULINA

That shows how excellent the sculptor is. He thinks about what she would look like now, sixteen years having passed, and makes her look as though she lived now.

LEONTES

As now she might have done,
So much to my good comfort, as it is
40Now piercing to my soul. O, thus she stood,
Even with such life of majesty, warm life,
As now it coldly stands, when first I woo’d her!
I am ashamed: does not the stone rebuke me
For being more stone than it? O royal piece,
45There’s magic in thy majesty, which has
My evils conjured to remembrance and
From thy admiring daughter took the spirits,
Standing like stone with thee.

LEONTES

This statue comforts me now, as she might have done, as much as it pains me to look at it. Oh, when I first courted her she stood just this way, with as much majesty and warmth as this stone has coldness. I am ashamed. Doesn’t the stone chastise me for being colder than it is? Oh, royal piece of art, there’s magic in your regal appearance, which has brought all my foul deeds to mind and has made your admiring daughter stand as still as stone like you.