Annotation of Act 2 Scene 1

Excerpt: 
The center is not big enough to bear  A schoolboy’s top.—Away with her to prison.  He who shall speak for her is afar off guilty  But that he speaks.
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Act 2 Scene 1

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Leontes' ability to send Hermione to prison so easily reminds me of contemporary incarceration practices, especially in the United States. Leontes has the power to declare what is considered a "crime" and how Hermione should be punished for it. In this sense, incarceration is not a means to achieve justice or reconciliation, but an oppressive system that prioritizes convenience, dominance, and paranoid, hyper-masculine, punitive impulses. What would justice look like in this play? Is there any? How do intersections like class and gender affect who is punished and who is forgiven? I’d like my group to reflect on these questions in relation to our lives and the pandemic as well.

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