Annotation of Act 1 Scene 2

Annotation Text: 
Hermione says that Polixenes' wife and herself both are ready to take the responsibility for all the sins committed by their husbands only if those sins were committed first with them. This says a lot about how a woman is inculpated for each and every act of her husband. Moreover, a woman tolerates everything if her husband is faithful to her. In these lines, Hermione has referred to the word "sin" and Polixenes, in the preceding lines accuses his wife for enticing him. According to the Bible, engaging in sexual activities before marriage is a sin. No matter what the situation is, a woman is always considered as a temptress. I would want my group to put forward their opinions on the issue of gender playing a pertinent role in demarcating morality.
lest you say  Your queen and I are devils. Yet go on. [105]  Th’ offenses we have made you do we’ll answer,  If you first sinned with us, and that with us  You did continue fault, and that you slipped not  With any but with us.
Annotated Content: 
Act 1 Scene 2

There are 3 Comments

Male dominance over female is a pertinent issue, but sexuality gives more power to this. However, sexuality is used as a weapon by men to dominate women and ethics are always at stake!

I completely agree that women are viewed as the temptress. This is ironic considering it is Leontes who is allowing himself to be tempted and overtaken by his own foolish delusions. However, as we see in later acts, even when men stand up for Hermione Leontes shuts them down. Leontes is so convinced that Hermione must be evil that he cannot have sense talked to him by anyone. However, Paulina is probably the most rational person in the play, so it is clear from Leonte's irrational behavior and from Paulina and Hermione's character that it is actually Leontes and his jealousy that is poison, not the women.

I agree with everything that has been said so far- women are completely over-sexualized in society. It's so sad that such little progress has been made with this since the time of Shakespeare; sl*t-shaming is still just as prevalent in today's world. Leontes perpetuates this issue by treating Hermione as he does. Rather than hearing her side of the story, he jumps to conclusions based on what he thinks he knows about women.

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