Perdita

Definition

Theater

  • In Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, the daughterof Leontes, King of Sicily. Believing falsely that he is not the truefather, Leontes has her abandoned as an infant on "the sea-coastof Bohemia", where she is discovered by a shepherd, who bringsher up as his own. Years pass and Florizel, the son of the BohemianKing Polixenes, falls in love with the supposed shepherdess. The matchis forbidden by Polixenes and the lovers flee to Sicily, wherePerdita's true identity is revealed. Finally she is restored to herparents and marries Florizel.

    The actress Mary Robinson (1757 - 1800), was generallyknown as Perdita after her triumph in the role in 1779. She was brieflythe mistress of the future George IV and turned to literature when thescandal ended her stage career.

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