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E

UR

A

MERICA

Vol. 47, No. 1

(

March 2017

)

,

1-41

©

Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica

http://euramerica.org

“There is no tongue that moves”

Female Healers and the Therapeutic

Female Tongue in

The Winter’s Tale



Ying-chiao Lin

Division of Preparatory Programs for Overseas Chinese Students

National Taiwan Normal University

No 2, Sec. 1, Renai Rd., LinKou Dist., New Taipei City 24449, Taiwan

E-mail:

yclin@ntnu.edu.tw

Abstract

This reading of Shakespeare’s

The Winter’s Tale

focuses on the theme of female healers or medical

practitioners, both as we see them in the play itself

and as their history contributes to the cultural

background of the play. While the female healer,

Pauline, may be said to stand squarely within this

tradition, Queen Hermione is less directly

representative of it. More precisely, the reading

focuses on the central role played by the voices,

tongues, and forceful speeches of these two women.

Empowered by their words and wits, these two wise

women, in particular Paulina, the play’s central

female figure and my main focus, transform their

traditional gender roles, acting as female healers

whose wits and tongues remove blockages within the

Received June 5, 2015; accepted December 10, 2015; last revised February 2,

2016

Proofreaders: Alex C. Chang, Kuan-Wei Wu, TsaiYing Lu