What is the significance of Shakespeare's presentation of Apollo and the gods in The Winter's Tale?

Apollo is presented in The Winter's Tale not only as the source of truth, through his Oracle, but as the arbiter of justice, who swiftly punishes Leontes for his tyranny and forces him to right the wrongs he has done.

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The word "hubris ," which in English is often used as a synonym for "pride," has a deeper significance in the original Greek, referring to a type of arrogance which challenges the gods and must be punished by them to maintain cosmic order. It is precisely this type of hubris that Leontes displays when he dismisses the Oracle of Apollo as "mere falsehood." Surveying Leontes's behavior up to this point in the play, it is not surprising that...

(The entire section contains 236 words.)

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