The King of Sicilia and the childhood friend of Polixenes. He is gripped by jealous fantasies, which convince him that Polixenes has been having an affair with his wife, Hermione. His jealousy leads to the destruction of his family.
The virtuous and beautiful Queen of Sicilia. Falsely accused of infidelity by her husband, Leontes, she apparently dies of grief just after being vindicated by the oracle of Delphi. She is restored to life at the play’s close.
The daughter of Leontes and Hermione. Because her father believes her to be illegitimate, she is abandoned as a baby on the coast of Bohemia and brought up by a shepherd. Unaware of her royal lineage, she falls in love with the Bohemian prince, Florizel.
The King of Bohemia and Leontes’s boyhood friend. He is falsely accused of having an affair with Leontes’s wife and barely escapes Sicilia with his life. Much later in life, he sees his only son fall in love with Perdita, who has been living as a lowly shepherd’s daughter.
Polixenes’s only son and heir. He falls in love with Perdita, unaware of her royal ancestry, and defies his father by eloping with her.
An honest Sicilian nobleman. Camillo refuses to follow Leontes’s order to poison Polixenes, deciding instead to flee Sicily and enter the Bohemian king’s service.
A noblewoman of Sicily. Paulina is fierce in her defense of Hermione’s virtue and unrelenting in her condemnation of Leontes after Hermione’s death. She is also the agent of queen’s resurrection.
A roguish peddler, vagabond, and pickpocket. He assists in Perdita and Florizel’s escape.
An old and honorable sheep-tender. He finds Perdita as a baby and raises her as his own daughter.
Paulina’s husband, and a loyal defender of Hermione. He is given the unfortunate task of abandoning the baby Perdita on the Bohemian coast.
The shepherd’s buffoonish son and Perdita’s adopted brother.
Leontes and Hermione’s son, the young prince of Sicilia. He dies, perhaps of grief, after his father wrongly imprisons his mother.
A lord of Sicilia, sent to Delphi to ask the oracle about Hermione’s guilt.
A Sicilian lord who accompanies Cleomenes to Delphi.
One of Hermione’s ladies-in-waiting.
A lord of Bohemia.