Archidamus and Cleomenes,a lord from Bohemia and the other from Sicilia,respectively begin having a conversation about the two Kings. They expanded upon the great friendship the Kings have and compared the two Kingdoms. They also mention the visit of Polixenes to Sicilia.
Leontes enters to see Hermione,Mamillius and Polixenes who was getting ready to leave. Leontes tried to persuade Polixenes to stay but he refused. However,after the words spoken to him by Hermione he decides to stay.
Leontes begins to get jealous when observing his wife and his friend. He suddenly suspects them to be lovers and begins to look at his son,Mamillius to compare their features. Since their features are similar he confirms that he is his son. On the other hand he still suspects that Polixenes slept with his wife and consequently asked Camillo to poison him.
Camillo expressly agreed but his conscience forbids him to do it. He then told Polixenes about what happened after being persuaded to talk. Polixenes then accepts him as his servant and they flee to Bohemia.
Mamillius begins to tell his mother a story. Leontes suddenly storms in in range because he recently found out about Polixenes fleeing to Bohemia and when putting his clues together he assumed that Camillo was his accomplice all along. With that stirring up his anger he began to accuse Hermione of being a ‘bed swerver.’ Hermione quickly rebuts by confessing her innocence. Leontes refused to believe her and consequently sent her to prison. He was confronted by Antigonus who also defended Hermione and tried to persuade him into recognizing her innocence. Leontes renounced his claims but decided to seek council from an oracle in Delphi.
Paulina went to visit Hermione in prison but was not allowed to speak to her because of instructions given to the gaoler. Paulina then asked to see Emilia who then informed her of the birth of Hermiones daughter. Paulina then convinced the gaoler that it was ok for her to take the child.
Paulina goes to the palace to take the baby to the king. Leontes becomes furious when Paulina got her way in. he begins to accuse Antigonus of not being able to control his wife and she agrues with him about his false accusations against Hermione. Paulina rests the baby down and leaves.
Act 3 began with Cleomenes and Dion,the two men who went to see the oracle. They engage in a dialogue where the topics of the conversation were the beauty or the religious atmosphere and temples in Delphi and the prophecy by the oracle which they hoped would be in Hermione’s favour.
The trial begins and Hermione is brought from prison. The indictment is read and in it contains the accusations made by Leontes. It accused Hermione of being an adulteress, conspiring with Polixenes and Camillo to ensure a clean escape. Hermione states the reason for her innocence which was basically a testimony of the life she lived.
The message from the oracle is brought and it reads that Hermione and Polixenes are innocent while Camillo was rightfully accused. It also stated that Leontes was a jealous tyrant who would live without an heir if his daughter is not found.
Suddenly after,a servant runs in and informs every one of Mamillius’ death. This caused Hermione to faint and she was immediately carried away only later to be pronounced dead by Paulina when she ran back into the room. Leontes recognizing what he had done swears to visit their grave once a day and repent.