Abstract

This article explores the figure of ekphrasis in Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece and The Winter's Tale. It is argued that The Winter's Tale is perhaps Shakespeare's most provocative treatment of ekphrasis, inasmuch as the play not only culminates with an object of the plastic arts—the "statue" of Hermione—that apparently becomes "real," but also asks whether narrative descriptions can create "the illusion of the natural sign." Shakespeare presents ekphrasis as a trope that is both seductively real and a sophisticated confidence trick, a trope that appears to have taken in both Shakespeare's characters and some of his critics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 389-414
Launched on MUSE
2006-05-18
Open Access
No
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