discussion about the dramatic importance and effectiveness of act 3 scene 2 in A Winters Tale

This scene is important in context to the entire play because it provides a crucial change of mood.This scene, in one respect, is the climax of the dark, tragic half of the play. The sombre undertones of jealousy, betrayal, anger, regret, grief and sorrow are relieved by the light hearted, slightly comic scene which follows. How the scene is a climax, the events which make the scene tragic, will both be exploredin this essay.

The play begins with a sudden burst of dramatic and irrational jealousy from Leontes. Leontes convinces himself that Hermione is betraying him with Polixenes and reality quickly gets re-defined by his diseased imagination. As King, he has the power to enforce his suspicions on others and attempts to do so on camillo. Leontes commands Camillo to kill polixenes. The jealousy and irrationality of Leontes is made effective because with every word spoken he is able to find a double meaning which cinfirms his belief further.His obsession with the idea that Hermione has committed adultery and made him a cuckold is obvious through his language. The rhythm of his speech is affected; it becomes fractured and repetitive. Gestures even become significant in consolidating his suspicions,
"How she holds the neb, the bill to him!"

The audience are aware that Hermione is innocent and therefore see the absurdity in Leontes accusations and actions. This is very compelling and consequently becomes gripping for the audience. Leontes unpredictability and insaneness creates dramatic excitement.

This is why ACT 3 SCENE 2 is important to the plot of the play because it is the climax of Leontes jealousy and also his tragic fall back into reality. This is an ultimate high for the audience as they have been able to experience the fall alongside Leontes although their minds relax which the allows them to absorb the previous events and form valid opinions about them!