| Quote #7
Go, play, boy, play: thy mother plays, and I
Leontes says that while he plays and horses around with his young son, Hermione “plays” around on him, Leontes, with another man. By this point in the play, Leontes has convinced himself that that Hermione is cheating on him and he decides to pretend not to know about the alleged affair, for the time being. What’s interesting is that Leontes's repetitious pun on the word “play” draws attention to the way he sees himself as a kind of actor who plays a “disgraced” role before an audience that boos and “hiss[es]” at him while his wife behaves in a deceitful manner. This reminds the audience that Leontes is actually a character, being played by a real actor on Shakespeare’s stage.
| Quote #8
I see the play so lies
Here, Perdita gives in to Camillo’s plan to disguise Perdita and Florizel so the young couple can escape to Sicily. When Perdita says she must play her “part” in Camillo’s little scheme, she draws out attention to how Camillo is also playing the role of a stage director.
| Quote #9
In the last passage, we pointed out how Camillo seems to resemble a theater director when he orchestrates Florizel and Perdita’s escape from Bohemia. Here, he continues to “direct” as he orders Autolycus to exchange clothes with the prince. This isn’t Autolycus’s first costume change – we’ve already seen him disguised as a robbery victim and a peddler. A few lines from now, we’ll watch him deceive the Old Shepherd and the Clown by pretending to be a nobleman.