What do the scenes set in Bohemia add to The Winter's Tale as a whole?

The scenes in Bohemia, depicting spring and summer in a lovely pastoral setting, add a sharp contrast to wintry Sicily. The scenes foreshadow the play's turn from tragic events to a happy ending.

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The scenes in Bohemia provide a spring and summer setting that contrasts sharply with wintry Sicily, where the tyrannous Leontes has ruined his family through his suspicions and paranoia. Due to Leontes's acts, his daughter Perdita, whom he decrees must be exposed to die because he wrongly thinks she is illegitimate, is smuggled to Bohemia and raised by shepherds. In this lovely pastoral setting, Perdita, who does not know she is royal, grows into a beautiful young woman.

The pastoral beauty of Bohemia is emphasized, reflecting the growing comic or happier tone of the play as the tragedy that began in Sicily begins to be undone. Autolycus, for example, sings of spring's "daffodils" and sings that with spring

comes in the sweet o' the year
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.

This reference to red blood infusing winter's pale alludes not only to the rebirth of the earth in warm weather but foreshadows Hermione awakening from her long frozen state.

The warm pastoral setting is also a fitting backdrop for the burgeoning and forbidden love between Perdita and Prince Florizel. All is not perfectly well, however, in this pastoral paradise. Thinking Perdita too lowly for his son, Polixenes refuses to allow the two to marry. This, however, will lead to the twosome fleeing to Sicily, where they will bring the warmth of their love, leading to a happy ending.

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