Perdita (The Winter's Tale)

Perdita (The Winter's Tale)

Perdita (The Winter's Tale)

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Perdita is one of the heroines of William Shakespeare's play, The Winter's Tale. She is the daughter of Leontes, King of Sicilia, and his wife Hermione.

Perdita is born in prison, where her father has sent her mother because he wrongly believes she has been unfaithful to him. Paulina takes the baby to Leontes to try to convince him that it is his daughter, but he refuses to believe it. He thinks instead that she is the result of an affair between Hermione and Polixenes, King of Bohemia. He sends Antigonus to leave the infant Perdita on the seacoast of Bohemia. In a dream, Hermione appears to Antigonus and tells him to name her child Perdita, which means "the lost she" in Latin and , in Italian, "loss". He takes pity on her, but is chased away by a bear. Luckily, Perdita is rescued by a shepherd who takes her in and raises her.

Early in the play, Perdita is described as being a beauty of conception. Sixteen years later, Perdita has grown into a beautiful young woman, unaware of her royal heritage. Prince Florizel, the prince of Bohemia, falls in love with her and plans to marry her. His father, however, disapproves of the marriage and threatens the couple, so they flee to Sicilia with the help of Camillo. Prince Florizel disguises himself as a merchant in order to be able to see Perdita. Later on in life, it is revealed that Perdita is the princess of Sicily. Perdita is reunited with her father and mother. She lived her life thinking she was one person and...
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