| Quote #7
At Leontes’s prompting, Camillo innocently remarks that everybody knows Polixenes has decided to stay in Sicily because Queen Hermione asked him to. (We should point out that Leontes is the one who asked Hermione convince his friend to stay a while longer in the first place.) When Camillo says Polixenes wanted to “satisfy” Hermione, he means that Polixenes wanted to be polite and make the queen happy by staying in town a little while longer. But Polixenes (deliberately?) misinterprets Camillo – his repetition of the phrase “satisfy!” suggests that Leontes thinks Polixenes has decided to stay in Bohemia in order to sexually gratify Queen Hermione. Poor Camillo has no idea what’s going on and doesn’t realize that he has inadvertently fueled Leontes’s jealousy and suspicion.
| Quote #8
Is whispering nothing?
As Leontes’s jealousy builds, he continues to manufacture “evidence” that Hermione and Polixenes are sleeping together. Leontes’s irrational thinking is a lot like that of Othello, the Shakespeare character who kills his wife when he wrongly suspects she’s having an affair. Both men have no real proof of infidelity but they are absolutely convinced that their women are disloyal. One difference between Othello and Leontes, however, is that Othello’s jealousy is fed by Iago, who convinces him of his wife’s “guilt.” Leontes, as we know, convinces himself that his wife is unfaithful.
| Quote #9
Good my lord, be cured
Here, Camillo urges Leontes to get a grip on his jealousy, which is like a terrible “disease.” The metaphor appears later as well, when Camillo insists that jealousy is a “sickness” that infects everyone around it (1.2.22). This turns out to be true because Leontes’s jealousy destroys his family, his friendship with Polixenes, and his kingdom’s political health (since Sicily is without an heir after Mammilius’s death and Perdita’s abandonment).