Shakespeare Quotes

When you do dance, I wish you

Florizel:
"When you do dance, I wish you
A wave o' th' sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that."

The Winter's Tale (IV, iv, 159-161)

Florizel, the son of the king of Bohemia, sings his love for Perdita, a shepherd's daughter, during a sheep-shearing feast. Sixteen years have passed between this and the preceding portion of Shakespeare's dramatic romance. In the earlier part, we learned that Perdita had been taken at her father's request to be exposed to nature and wild beasts, as he believed she was the illegitimate daughter of an unfaithful wife and his old friend, Polixenes, the king of Bohemia. We also learned that Leontes' suspicions were unfounded and ultimately tragic; but happily Perdita was rescued by a shepherd and raised by him, and now she is a lovely young lady who is in love with the king's son. They exchange endearing love songs in this scene, filled with sensual delight and honor of virtue. Perdita has embarrassed herself by giving a long speech about the purity of nature and its cycles, but Florizel wants her to speak more, and to sing, and to dance, "move still, still so, and own no other function."

Themes: love, romance

Speakers: Florizel