As promised in my previous post, “What geographical error?” I want to share with you another interesting excerpt from The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard’s Unknown Travels that relates to Shakespeare’s romantic play, The Winter’s Tale.
First, let’s set the scene: Leontes is certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his wife, Hermione, has been unfaithful.
But he’s failed to convince the others in his court who sympathize with their queen.
So, to obtain “a greater confirmation” (2.1.180), Leontes sends two of his lords, Cleomenes and Dion, on a voyage to request spiritual counsel from the Oracle at Delphi.
Shakespeare requires that we suspend our disbelief, and imagine the Temple of Apollo as grand as it was in ancient times, rather than the ruins it would have been in the medieval setting of The Winter’s Tale.
To be continued…