Study Guide

Dorcas in The Winter’s Tale

By William Shakespeare


Dorcas doesn’t have a major role in the play, but like the rest of the Bohemian festival-goers, she helps to inject Act 4 of the play with a spirited and comical atmosphere. Like Mopsa, Dorcas is a country bumpkin-ette who seems to have had (or is still having?) an affair with the Clown. In fact, Mopsa (the Clown’s current girlfriend) implies that Dorcas is carrying the Clown’s baby, which seems to makes Dorcas a part of a good old fashioned love triangle. Gee. This sure does sound like a hill-billy version of what Leontes suspects is happening between his pregnant wife and his BFF in Act 1. What’s that all about?