A sad tale is oft best for the winter tis been said. Winter is well on its way hence, my anthology of sad tales I have begun. How did I even get to this point self o? *scratches head*… I remember now, I was on my bed chilling when my brain kicked into overdrive and I started contemplating different subjects and then I got to LOVE. Yes, love, that emotion that has single-handedly been responsible for most of the major wars in history i.e. Trojan War. First and foremost, I’m not a believer, in love that is, the whole package is just too farfetched and unrealistic for me to subscribe to. That’s unless love is one awesome feeling of affection directed to a playwright who walked the earth in the 1600s and wrote The Tempest, or the type recorded in John 3:16 or in Galatians 5:22, then forget it. So there I was, thinking of stupid things people do all in the name of love, then this guy King Leontes protagonist of William Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ came to mind. I hated this Leontes dude as a child because I was one hopeless romantic.None withstanding, I adored the play, I actually adore everything and anything Shakespearian when I really should hate that guy, he makes literature so hard for the rest of us. So thinking about this guy, I realised nobody has ever looked at things from his point of view and I decided to do so. Before anyone starts thinking yours truly is going to drone with the begets, the 3scores and fives, the despaireth,the haths and changeth not’s and starts having some expectations, you need not get your knickers in a twist because I’m not writing 16th century English like my dearest William did. Maybe I’m thatawed, devoted, appreciative, infatuated or chicken to even contemplate it. Think whatever you want, we’re all entitled to our opinion no matter how hare-brained or mendacious they might be. Anyhow sha, 1, 2, 3,go…
In his mind’s eye, he can see it all clearly, the events that made him into what he had become – sad, bitter, contrite, melancholic, a lonely old king with hands drenched in blood, blood of his mate and his heir. He caused their deaths, was he even worthy enough to keep their memory he wondered? Worthy or not, it was his fate, after all, he denied his heir his right to adulthood. He, Leontes caused Mamillus to forever remain a child, to live only in memories, memories that comfort not but disturb him. He is left without an heir, no one to inherit after the adieus’ have been uttered and the interment has slipped minds, not unless his lost daughter has been found. How exactly did He, the great and noble Leontes, King of Sicily get to this point? Down memory lane he drifts…..
Hermione, gracious Hermione convinced Polixenes, the childhood friend to extend his stay of nine months, to tarry awhile longer, how did she achieve it when he had failed time and time again; or does Polixenes of Bohemia share her bed? Of course! That must be it. He must have been cuckold by her, ‘No barricado against the enemy’ he soliloquises, a wanton relationship betwixt them must exist, little wonder their banters. She’s even heavy with child; her time of delivery draws high by the hour- his seed? He reckons not, a bastard child? Most plausible. Await he must, faithful Camillo who has the task of poisoning that traitorous King of Bohemia, Polixenes who is the sire of the unborn one. Is the first, Mamillus even his? He should be, he is the spitting image. The more he thinks, the more he believes, he more the ponders, the more outrageous he becomes, the more Leontes considers, the more maniacal his faculties wax. In trepidation he tarries, for the death cry of that Judas, the wolf in sheep clothing but alas, Camillo rather than murder Polixenes, flees with him to Bohemia. To what end? The king’s wrath is incensed.Into her chambers he goes, the child Mamillus, his seed, proof of his progeny, he takes and sends away with his nurse, the boy prince was on the verge of narrating an old wives tale to the ladies of the queen’s chamber, he had uttered the words, ‘A sad tale is oft best for the winter’, if he only he knew how sombre his life would become. Of the queen, orders were pronounced, to throw her in jail, for she will be placed on high before the people and be tried, she cuckold the king, shared her bed with another and they did plot to slay the king of Sicilia, Hermione will await Cleomenes and Dion who are have gone on to Delphos to confer with Apollo’s Oracle at Delphi who will affirm his accusations.
In the goal, she was put, a place of bars, chains, lock and keys. In that hellhole, she begets her daughter, who was taken to the king’s presence by Hermione’s friend Lady Paulina. Away!!!! To be abandoned to an uninhabitable isle left to the elements commands he Paulina’s Lord, Lord Antigonus who adheres and is never seen or heard of. How long ago was this past of his? A decade and five? Or even six? The passage of time is of no essence to him, it has lost its meaning ever since….. if only he could turn back the sands of time, if only. But as of now, what can he do? Look back in retroversion alone…. His Hermione still looked so beautiful and radiant even when standing on trial for being faithless to him, he feels the stirring in his loins for her, for the dewy, humid place of moisture and dampness betwixt her legs, he yearns to plunge deep into the well of satisfaction, swimming laps upon laps in ecstasy, basking in the rivers and floods of her pleasure, causing her to writhe, moan and groan beneath him, strokes after strokes, exploring, feeding, enjoying, soaring to the heavens and back, progressing to Olympus for he would be tasting Ambrosia, the sweet nectar of the gods, his pulsating maleness calls, his desire beckons for the fire in him needs to be abated, his shaft summons her noting-Elizabethan slang for privates i.e. ‘Much Ado About Nothing’,his body calls, he craves, hankers to bury his face in the valley between, in her bosom that is, he wants her in his bed and then he recalls and becomes maniacal, she let Polixenes share her bed, the wench, and her lover has escaped without her, SHE.MUST.PAY!!!!!!! and pay she did, for her judgement came to late, news came that the Prince Mamillus fell ill because of grief over his mother’s situation and has died, and then she fell into a swoon, a swoon which translated into death. The Delphian oracle had pronounced her innocent and Leontes will have no heir till the lost daughter be found. Does Leontes deserve our pity???
Lady Paulina, faithful friend of our ‘dear dead’ Hermione has the sole task of searching for a suitable friend to beget an heir to the kingdom of Sicilia. Meanwhile, Perdita the lost child was placed on the isle of Bohemia by Antigonus, poor Antigonus by a bear. Perdita and Florizel (son of Polixenes) fall in love. Oh! What intricate webs the sister Fates’ weave. And with the king opposing the march, they flee to Sicilia after Camillo tells them that they will find succour on the islet; Polixenes and Camillo are in hot pursuit. At the Sicilian court, there is reconciliation and denouement, Leontes asks for forgiveness from all, gains forgiveness and both Kings give their contest to the joining of their offspring in Holy Wedlock. Amidst the celebrations, Paulina announces that a statue of the Queen Hermione is in her possession and off to her castle they troop.
As regal and graceful, as noble, as beautiful and as uncanny is the resemblance between the sculpture and the queen even to the arch of her brow, the blush on the cheeks and the rouge of her lips. Just one mistake, Leontes remarks, the face is lined like the sculpture has aged. Is it the brilliance and expertise of the sculptor in making her look like she aged 16 years or is it that, that?????????…. And then!!!!!! As if by magic, it begins to move, a step after the other, magic? A trick of the light?Or of the mind? A kiss on the lips and then realisation dawns: it breathes, it bleeds, it’s warm, once thought to be dead, now exists among the living, not dead, nor clay, not wood or stone but infact alive.
That’s basically the whole story, if you at a loss about what I’m about… well, the joke is on you. This is my abridged version; get the real play if you please????
By patience aliuro