The Winter’s Tale
The Winter’s Tale Time Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
LEONTES Her natural posture! Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she In thy not chiding, for she was as tender As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina, Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing So aged as this seems. POLIXENES O, not by much. PAULINA So much the more our carver's excellence; Which lets go by some sixteen years and makes her As she lived now. (5.3.3)
When Leontes's observes that Hermione’s “statue” looks much older than his dead wife, we’re reminded that sixteen long years have passed since Leontes last saw her, the proof of which is etched on Hermione’s now “wrinkled” skin. Even though Leontes is reunited with his wife (who turns out to be very much alive in the next lines), the play never lets us forget that some things (like Hermione’s youthful appearance and even the dead child, Mammilius) can never be recovered. Time marches forward and can never be reversed.