Lions, Wolves and Bears, Oh My: The Rhetoric of Torture in Nietzsche’s Genealogy and Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale
By Clifford Stetner
In Discipline and Punish, Foucault uses the execution of the regicide Damiens to apply a Nietzschean principle of genealogy to the history of modern Europe. In this paper I hope to demonstrate that the text of Shakespeare’s The Winter's Tale can similarly be used to elucidate the principles of Nietzsche’s genealogy in terms of English cultural history. The Winter's Tale has two advantages for this purpose: It emerged in 1610 at a significant point in the history of torture in England; and it contains a discourse involving the nature of torture in terms of the power of the state. The use of torture is central to Nietzsche’s Genealogy which, in part, accounts for Foucault’s emphasis on its disappearance from public display in Europe. Both Foucault and Nietzsche approach the study of history through the record of events while making claims about the subjective processes that underlay those events. In studying literary texts we can explore subjective processes themselves in order to test their consistency with Nietzschean principles of genealogy.
Boccaccio’s Decameron provides a probable source for Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. It ends with a description of the punishment of the villain Ambroginolo:
Then the Soldane strictly commaunded, that on some high and eminent place of the Citie, Ambroginolo should be bound and impaled on a stake, having his naked body nointed all over with hony, and never to bee taken off, untill (of it selfe) it fell in peeces, which, according to the sentence, was presently performed... the verie same day ... hee was impaled on the stake, annointed with honey, and fixed in the place appointed, to his no meane torment: he not onely died, but likewise was devoured to the bare bones, by Flies, Waspes, and Hornets, whereof the Countrey notoriously aboundeth. And his bones, in full forme and fashion, remained strangely blacke for a long time after, knit together by the sinewes; as a witnesse to many thousands of people, which afterward beheld the Carkasse of his wickednesse against so good and vertuous a Woman... (ii. 9)
Heads, like Ambroginolo’s bones, were left on pikes above the Tower of London for public edification.
Unlike Boccaccio, Shakespeare pardons the villain Jachimo with the words: “live and deal with others better.” A description similar to Boccaccio’s of death by torture emerges again, however, in The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare’s next romance; this time in a dark comic speech by Autolycus the rogue:
He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then 'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a wasp's nest; then stand till he be three quarters and a dram dead; then recovered again with aqua-vitae or some other hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and in the hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall he be set against a brick-wall, the sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he is to behold him with flies blown to death. But what talk we of these traitorly rascals, whose miseries are to be smiled at, their offences being so capital? ...
What is comic here is that Autolycus knows that he is addressing the “traitorly rascals” themselves, though pretending ignorance, in an attempt to scare them into employing him as an advocate. This is not an isolated piece of macabre slapstick, but the most explicit expression of a discourse of state torture and terror that underlies the tragicomic narrative.
TORTURE AND NIETZSCHE
In his blurb to the original French edition of Discipline and Punish, Foucault asks: “can one produce a genealogy of modern morals through a political history of bodies” (Foucault in Miller 489), acknowledging the relationship of his project to that of Nietzsche’s late work. Rather than approach the question from the Zarathustrian perspective of ahistorical universal abstractions, Foucault focuses his attention on the material culture of eighteenth century Europe (especially France). While Nietzsche describes a process of transmutation from an Aryan warrior elite culture to a contemporary European culture: diseased, reactive, self-hating and self-destroying, he seems to describe a process that is occurring at all times throughout history. He offers, for instance, religion as a product of this process, which would seem to place its historical moment somewhere in prehistory, but he also describes tortures and corporal punishments, as mechanisms of this same transformation, that were still in use, in some cases, in the nineteenth century.
Foucault, alternatively, locates an authentic historical period of cultural transformation and applies to it more or less Nietzschean principles of genealogy. For Foucault, the horrific execution of Damiens in 1757, which opens his chapter on the spectacle of the scaffold, marks the end of a European cultural epoch involving a legal system based on punishment alone, to be followed by the introduction of the principle of humaneness which characterizes modern European penality.
Les éclats des supplices. A 1553 execution on Tower Hill
The construction of a specifically Anglo-American genealogy of morals analogous to Foucault’s model would locate a comparable transformation at an earlier date. Although “the birth of the prison” may not be said to have been completed in England until the eighteenth century along with the rest of Europe (if it is indeed meaningful to speak of completion in genealogy), the most striking break with the history of torture in England is apparent following the Jacobean succession of 1603.
Restricting ourselves for the moment to those incidents of judicial torture for the purposes of eliciting information whose official warrants we have, there exist only seven examples in the thirty-seven years of the Stuart monarchy compared with fifty-one cases in the thirty-seven years of Elizabeth’s reign prior to 1603 (Langbein 135). The number of incidents of judicial torture warranted by the Privy Council and Star Chamber in London, however, by no means reflects the degree to which the infliction of physical pain was used by the functionaries of the state throughout England as a response to the transgression of its laws. From flogging, to branding, to mutilation, the infliction of physical pain was perceived to be a legitimate punishment for outlaws, especially those of the lower classes, into the twentieth century. There appears to be, however, a marked decrease in all forms of corporal punishment after 1603 more or less proportional to the drop off in official torture warrants.
If Shakespeare was concerned with the issue of state sponsored torture in 1610-11 as he wrote The Winter's Tale, he may have had in mind the execution of the regicide Revaillac in France in 1610. It was, in fact, that horrible event that provided the precedent for the punishment of Damiens cited by Foucault, as there had been no regicides in France in the intervening centuries. Quartering was already an archaic practice when it was applied to Damiens. If we are interested in examining the point when the infliction of pain ceased to be taken for granted as an appropriate mode of penality, especially in the context of English history, we should, therefore, refer back to the era of Revaillac and The Winter's Tale.
No public execution comparable to that of Revaillac had occurred in England since Guy Fawkes and his fellow dynamite plotters went to the gallows in 1605. That gruesome event certainly rivals the descriptions both of Foucault and Autolycus in its gory detail:
First after a traitor hath had his just trial and is convicted and attained he shall have his judgment to be drawn to the place of execution from his prison as being not worthy any more to tread upon the face of the earth, whereof he was made. Also that he hath been retrograde by nature, and therefore he is drawn backwards at a horse’s tail. And whereas god hath made the head of a man the highest and most supreme part as being his chief grace and ornament he must be drawn with his head declining downward, and lying so near the ground as may be being thought unfit to take benefit of the common air. For which cause also he shall be strangled being hanged up by the neck between heaven and earth as deemed unworthy of both or either as likewise that the eyes of men may behold and their hearts condemn him. Then he is to be cut down alive and to have his privy parts cut off and burnt before his face, as being unworthy begotten and unfit to leave any generation after him. His bowels and inlaid parts taken out and burnt who inwardly had conceived and harbored in his heart such horrible treason after to have his head cut off which had imagined the mischief and lastly his body to be quartered and the quarters set up in some high and eminent place to the view and detestation of men and to become a prey for the fowls of the air. And this is a reward due to traitors.
The Gunpowder Plotters go to their doom feet first
Foucault argues that such displays carry a particular rhetorical value in the interest of the power of the state, but it should be acknowledged that his own use of the gruesome death of Damiens is itself rhetorical in a way that reflects Nietzsche’s rhetoric in his passage on the subject of torture in the Genealogy:
Germans have resorted to ghastly means in order to triumph over their plebeian instincts and brutal coarseness. We need only recount some of our ancient forms of punishment: stoning (even in earliest legend millstones are dropped on the heads of culprits); breaking on the wheel (Germany’s own contribution to the techniques of punishment); piercing with stakes, drawing and quartering, trampling to death with horses, boiling in oil or wine (these were still in use in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries), the popular flaying alive, cutting out of flesh from the chest, smearing the victim with honey and leaving him in the sun, a prey to flies. By such methods the individual was finally taught to remember five or six “I won’ts” which entitled him to participate in the benefits of society... What an enormous price man had to pay for reason, seriousness, control over his emotions...
Of course it is no longer necessary to refer to ancient history to find examples of sadistic German practices. For the purposes of this essay, it is interesting to note Nietzsche’s reference to the exacting of flesh in exchange for a debt (which, according to his genealogy identifies the real source of the idea that pain is a natural retribution for crime) echoing the bond of Shylock. The cutting out of flesh is followed by “smearing the victim with honey and leaving him in the sun, a prey to flies,” the torture taken from Boccaccio by Shakespeare and given to Autolycus in his speech to the Clown.
The ghastliness of historical legal practices is valuable to Nietzsche’s argument because it is impossible for the modern reader to remain morally neutral in the face of their blatant sadism. Nietzsche’s participation in that sadism is an instance of doing philosophy with a hammer. The genealogy of modern morals can only become visible when the a piori values they imply are deconstructed and the unquestionable at their origin is brought into question.
According to Nietzsche, “‘good and evil,’ ‘good and bad,’” the values whose creation depended upon the use of torture by the state, were a function of class conflict. Initially, he argues, “good” simply meant “noble,” and in fact the ambiguity of the word noble in contemporary English usage reflects the conflation of morality with aristocracy that he describes. “Nobility” implies hierarchy, and it is whether the people at the top or the bottom of the hierarchy are considered noble that determines the definition of “good and evil” at a particular cultural moment. In cultures, such as the medieval feudal English baronage, in which the warrior elite is noble, while the peasant serf is base, good is equated with power and self-interest; in cultures in which the peasant farmer is noble while the oppressive or idle aristocrat is base, good becomes equated with altruism. Paradoxically, the historical use of torture by the state, by forcing the internalization of power and its transmutation into “conscience” allows for the triumph of the slave classes by turning power against itself.
TORTURE AND SHAKESPEARE
As with Nietzsche’s description of tortures in The Genealogy of Morals, Autolycus’s description of the pains awaiting the poor Clown takes place in the context of class conflict. Shakespeare has gone to great lengths to dress up the rogue Autolycus in the clothes of an aristocrat. The shepherds are representatives of a social class very important to Shakespeare, his own rising middle class in pursuit of aristocratic status. For the past hundred years, enclosure had made the wool trade the most lucrative trade in England, and Shakespeare’s shepherds, although bumpkins, are well off. The crime for which Autolycus claims the Clown will undoubtedly be punished is of plotting to marry his common sister to the prince, projecting himself and his father into the aristocracy: “to draw our throne into a sheep-cote,” as Autolycus puts it. As faithful servants of the state, deterred from sedition or subversion by the threat, real or imagined, of torture and the gallows, the shepherds exemplify the taming process that Nietzsche and Foucault describe. When the shepherds are made gentlemen at the end of the play, the Clown says: “I was a gentleman born before my father,” making a punning reference to Shakespeare’s status after winning a title for his own father.
I find several reasons that Shakespeare’s discussion of state torture might contain autobiographical elements. Thomas Kyd, under whom I believe Shakespeare to have served as an apprentice (for instance in the writing of the Ur-Hamlet), was tortured in prison in 1593 and died a year later at the age of thirty-six, ruined and in disgrace. Kyd’s case is unusual. No warrant seems to exist, but the crime with which he is accused is not the customary sedition or heresy (usually meaning Catholicism at the time and virtually synonymous with sedition), but atheism. That is, the simple holding of atheistic views without any alleged attempt to spread them or subvert the state. 
Kyd was initially accused of spreading xenophobic propaganda. His room was searched and atheistic literature found. He was arrested and tortured. He said the papers belonged to Marlowe who used to live with him. Marlowe was to be arrested, but some time during this procedure, he was murdered in an ambush in a Deptford pub. If we were to judge by their writings, Marlowe seems the likelier candidate for at least researching atheistic views, perhaps to put into the mouth of Mephistopheles or Tamburlaine. Furthermore Kyd claims in a letter to John Puckering asking him to serve as his advocate to his patron that everybody knows that he is mild, gentle and religious, while Marlowe is a degenerate. Nevertheless, nobody seems to have believed him. If Shakespeare was a friend or student of Kyd’s then Kyd’s death in 1593 may have caused him sadness as well as fear.
In lieu of the original offense of spreading propagandist literature, the crime of atheism probably only rose to the level of a torturable offense in the case of the literati, whose opinions might be expected to be inevitably shared with others. The obscurity of Shakespeare’s political views has often been attributed to the terror of falling under so much as a suspicion of subversive opinions at a time when the definition of orthodoxy changed from year to year.
The playwright Hayward came close to suffering this fate as reported by Francis Bacon:
The Queen was mightily incensed against Haywarde, on account of a book he dedicated to Lord Essex, being a story of the first year of Henry IV, thinking it a seditious prelude to put into the people’s heads boldness and faction: She said, she had an opinion that there was treason in it, and asked me, if I could not find any places in it, that might be drawn within the case of treason? Whereto I answered, for treason, sure I found none; but for felony very many: And when her majesty hastily asked me, Wherein? I told her, the author had committed very apparent theft: For he had taken most of the sentences of Cornelius Tacitus... (Parry, 39)
This touches Shakespeare nearly, as his own Richard II, which treats the material that Elizabeth here finds treasonous, was used in 1599 to signal the commencement of the Essex rebellion. Bacon continues:
And another time when the Queen could not be persuaded that it was his [Hayward’s] writing whose name was to it, but that it had some more mischievous author, and said, with great indignation, that she would have him racked to produce his author; I replied, nay, madam, he is a doctor, never rack his person, but rack his style: Let him ... be enjoined to continue the story where it breaketh off, and I will undertake, by collating the styles, to judge whether he were the author or no. (Parry, 39)
Bacon’s description of Elizabeth approaches a charge of paranoia, and the paranoia of a monarch who was free with her use of the rack must have given rise to paranoia among those of her subjects at risk for being suspected of sedition. In The Winter's Tale, Leontes the king of Sicily displays his own paranoia:
LEONTES ... O thou thing! Which I'll not call a creature of thy place, lest barbarism, making me the precedent, should a like language use to all degrees
and mannerly distinguishment leave out betwixt the prince and beggar: I have said
she's an adulteress; I have said with whom: more, she's a traitor and Camillo is a federary with her, 2,1,82-90
His diatribe of false accusations followed by banishments, imprisonments and burnings is given the context of class hierarchy: the preservation of the distinction “betwixt the prince and beggar,” which distinction defines his paranoia as law and the opposition offered to it as treason. He concludes by consigning his own heir who will return later in the play as Perdita, the lost one, to be burnt with her mother.
Not only do several of the plays of Shakespeare attest to his interest in the subject of torture and state terror, he also shows some knowledge of its history. In a gesture of contempt Mark Antony sends a message to Caesar telling him that if he doesn’t like his behavior: “...he has Hipparchus, my enfranched bondman, whom he may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture, as he shall like, to quit me...” (AC III,xi). This gesture makes reference to the practice among aristocrats of the Greek and Roman empires when accused of a crime to submit their slaves for torture as proof of their own innocence. If the master is guilty, the logic seems to run, the slaves will likely have knowledge of it and will be unable to refrain under torture from informing on him.
Slaves do not observe the aristocratic code of honor and will not stand up as their masters might. The mere offer of a slave was taken as proof of innocence. The unreliability of testimony obtained under torture is hard to deny, however, and this practice illustrates Nietzsche’s implications that torture had more to do with the establishment of class hierarchy among those who impose the law and those who are subject to it than the obtaining of information.
The belief in the reliability of torture as a means of gaining information is illustrated by an episode cited in The Elizabethan Underworld:
A Caveat or Warning for Common Cursitors, Vulgarly Called Vagabonds ...London. 1561...[a] vagabond, pretending to be dumb, [was] forced to speak by being hoisted over a beam and made to hang by his wrists. (Langbein 211)
In the first place the torture itself is a makeshift rack working on the same principle as the one at Brideswell and in the Tower. The wrists were bound behind one’s back before being lifted over one’s head (a version of this was in practice during the Vietnam War), making the body work against itself. It furthermore illustrates the reasoning that if a beggar has something to say, the rack will get it out of him. There is no problem with this logic as long as the judges are correct about the examinate’s guilt. If they are mistaken then most torture victims will simply invent whatever story seems likely to stop the pain.
The logic of the caveat for vagabonds is depicted in Shakespeare’s I Henry VI as a couple of courtiers have a little fun before the king:
GLOUCESTER ... Now, sirrah, if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me over this stool and run away.
SIMPCOX Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone: You go about to torture me in vain. Enter a Beadle with whips
GLOUCESTER Well, sir, we must have you find your legs. Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.
BEADLE: I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off with your doublet quickly.
SIMPCOX Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand. After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps over the stool and runs away; and they follow and cry, 'A miracle!'
This is not a court that Shakespeare has set out to praise, and yet it is difficult to know if the commoners in the audience are meant to laugh at the slapstick or not. Here, too, however, Shakespeare has set a display of the use of corporal punishment by the state in the context of a class conflict with no doubt about who belongs at which end of the whip. For good measure, the triumphant courtiers whip the wife too:
QUEEN MARGARET It made me laugh to see the villain run.
GLOUCESTER Follow the knave; and take this drab away.
WIFE Alas, sir, we did it for pure need.
GLOUCESTER Let them be whipped through every market-town, till they come to Berwick, from whence they came.
In Part II, York accuses Gloucester of using torture excessively bringing ill repute to England, a charge that might well have been directed at Elizabeth.
TORTURE AND THE WINTER’S TALE
In order to clarify what I perceive to be the discourse of torture more or less submerged in the text of The Winter's Tale, it may be useful to recall a section of Foucault’s version of the execution of Damiens:
Finally, he was quartered... This last operation was very long, because the horses used were not accustomed to drawing; consequently, instead of four, six were needed; and when that did not suffice, they were forced in order to cut off the wretch’s thighs, to sever the sinews and hack at the joints...the excessive pain made him utter horrible cries, and he often repeated: “My God, have pity on me! Jesus, help me!” (Foucault 3)
Anyone who has tried to carve a raw turkey should be able to imagine the difficulties involved in quartering a living human being (being 150 years out of practice), and we might assume that the image of the event would remain vivid in the minds of the multitude of spectators as long as they lived, along with the screams of agony which were probably very emotionally compelling.
Given the quartering of Fawkes and company in 1605 and of Revaillac in 1610, I believe that a quartering is evoked by the death of Antigonus in Act III of The Winter's Tale. His final departure from the stage is graced in the first Folio by a unique stage direction: “exit pursued by bear.” If this is a real bear, trained to chase Antigonus from the stage, it is a dramatic reification of the symbol of the bear which recurs a number of times throughout the text. The Clown, fearing the wrath of the state after the harangue of Autolycus (as well as witnessing the death of Antigonus), suggests bribery to his father:
He seems to be of great authority: close with him, give him gold; and though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold: show the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado. Remember 'stoned,' and 'flayed alive.'
The gold is, of course, a conceit figuring both the gold ring through a bear’s nose by which it can be led with a chain and the money by which even commoners might be able to exercise legal and political influence. We also have Antigonus himself mobilizing the symbol of the bear before going to his death in Sicily. He turns to the babe who has been pardoned from the fire to be carried to a foreign shore and exposed and prays for an animal protector for it: “Wolves and bears, they say casting their savageness aside have done like offices of pity” (II,iii,169-88). The wolf appears in the form of Autolycus, whose name means “self-wolf” and whose occupation is the fleecing of the peasants at the sheep shearing festival, while the bear appears as the symbol of authority and the instrument of the death of Antigonus.
Antigonus’s crime is treason. Like Kent in King Lear, he opposes the king’s paranoid tyranny. His wife is therefore threatened with burning and he with hanging. Instead of carrying out the execution, it is allegorized in the removing of Perdita to Bohemia and his consequent consumption by the bear, accompanied by the simultaneous death of all his followers by a storm which sinks their ship in the harbor. As with Fawkes and Revaillac, this is a public execution, and the Clown offers an account:
Clown ... O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls! ... And then for the land-service, to see how the bear tore out his shoulder-bone; how he cried to me for help and said his name was Antigonus, a nobleman. ... how the poor souls roared, and the sea mocked them; and how the poor gentleman roared and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than the sea or weather...
Les éclats des supplices: a burning at Smithfield
The Clown is quite distressed by the piteous cries and the image of the torn out shoulder-bone, which (for me) evokes the hacking at the joints of Damiens. A few lines later he continues: “... the men are not yet cold under water, nor the bear half dined on the gentleman: he's at it now,” and later: “I'll go see if the bear be gone from the gentleman and how much he hath eaten: they are never curst but when they are hungry: if there be any of him left, I'll bury it.” To which his father replies: “That's a good deed. If thou mayest discern by that which is left of him what he is, fetch me to the sight of him” (3,3,80-124).
In the Roman empire, the torture of aristocrats was sometimes allegorized, not in text, but in practice:
There was, however, then, as now, one law for the rich and influential, and another for the poor and obscure. The powerful often escaped the rod altogether, and where they could not avoid it in any complete sense, its severity was often tempered. Thus, in punishing nobles for various misdemeanors, the executioners were instructed, in accordance with the arbitrary decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus that the clothing only of these distinguished delinquents should be whipped... (Scott 37)
However, as with the Earl of Essex, hanging only the outward symbols of rank would not suffice in Tudor/Stuart England for the crime of treason. The nature of Antigonus’s offense, the form of his sentencing, and the manner of his death recall the spectacle of the gallows, and as witnesses to the process, symbolized in the savagery of the hungry bear (later used by them as an explicit symbol of stubborn authority) along with the simultaneous storm at sea and the loss of life and limb, the shepherds are easily manipulated by the rogue/courtier Autolycus’s graphic horror stories.
The question has been raised occasionally as to why such an abrupt change seems to have taken place in the use of torture (préperatoire and préalable), corporal punishment and execution in England after the accession of the James I. One might expect that the more absolute the power claimed by the state, the more it would employ les éclats des supplices. However, Nietzsche says that “whenever a community gains in power and pride, its penal code becomes more lenient...” (204). If a society becomes powerful
Accounts of public executions were popular reading in the era of The Winter's Tale
enough it will cease to have laws altogether. What the state calls mercy is, therefore, only the triumph and validation of its own power. It is only able to exercise mercy because it has usurped a position above the law. It accomplishes this, not as a final transformation, but as a continual struggle whose perpetual victories succeed in forcing the increasing internalization of its values, while its dependence on external displays diminishes.
Nietzsche identifies the function of torture as a mechanism used by the state to create memory. “Whenever man has thought it necessary to create a memory for himself, his effort has been attended with torture, blood, sacrifice” (Nietzsche 192). Once the memory has been created, however, torture and sacrifice are no longer necessary, and the state can claim to have entered a new era of humanism. This is the early part of the process traced by Foucault in Discipline and Punish. The Elizabethan state, beset as it was by palpable threats from within and without (regardless of the paranoia of Elizabeth herself), did not have the luxury of dispensing with terrorism. The shamelessness with which corporal punishment was applied for the pettiest of offences under Elizabeth therefore testifies to the accuracy of Nietzsche’s estimation of the nature of state power.
“A thing is branded on the memory to make it stay there; only what goes on hurting will stick” (Nietzsche 192). The memory that Elizabeth succeeded in establishing (at least temporarily) through making sure that it hurt to forget it was of the invulnerability of the English crown, of its placement above the law and out of reach--the a priori knowledge that whatever options the growing moneyed classes possessed, sedition in any possible form was not among them. The establishment of this cultural memory was necessary, not only because the threats were manifold, but because traditional values allowed for the deposition of unsuitable monarchs by the nobility who possessed their own armies for the purpose. The last attempt by the nobility to assert this right took the form of the Essex rebellion which ended in failure and executions.
It was the success of Elizabeth’s terrorism that allowed for the rise of Stuart absolutism. The execution of Guy Fawkes in the early years of the Stuart régime was enough of a reminder that the state still claimed the prerogative to wreak vengeance on its enemies from a position above the law. After 1605 neither the rack nor the gallows came into much further use in England.
Six years after the execution of Fawkes, The Winter's Tale appeared on stage in an England which, despite the triumph of its political régime, was embarked upon a decline in international prestige. Among the winter themes of The Winter's Tale are the desirability of the intended marriages of the male and female heirs of the monarch and the decline and fall of political régimes. The death of Hermione in prison (but not really), the burning of the bastard Perdita (but not really), the execution of the rebel Antigonus and his followers (but not really), all contribute to the decline of the Sicilian state figured by the death of Manilius the king’s beloved heir. Subsequently, the threats of torture levied at the shepherds by Autolycus (in the third person in the mode of representation rather than invective) lead to the recovery of Perdita, the resurrection of Hermione, and the return of summertime prosperity to the Sicilian state.
The Delphic oracle of the play states that what is lost must be recovered if the state is to emerge from its winter of discontent. The Winter's Tale makes references to the older generation, to the ancièn régime and to practices of torture and terror. It places a sixteen year gap between its winter and summer halves. These elements all contribute the theme of a political régime, which, through the tyranny and paranoia of its monarch of the previous generation has forfeited its spiritual strength. Autolycus (who I believe to be a symbol of the artist in the Jacobean state), although an outlaw, plays a crucial role in the recovery of Perdita and the renaissance of the régime. His knowledge of Boccaccio’s gallows tale is only one of the devices in his pack which help him to affect his purpose, which in the end is only to secure service with (i.e. the patronage of) the prince, Florizel.
Autolycus has himself been tamed by the fear of torture. “gallows and knock are too powerful on the highway. Beating and hanging are terrors to me” (IV,iii,25). The only salvation from this constant danger is to enter the service of an aristocrat. A life of crime or vagabondage, the thing to which he is ideally suited, is a life of constant terror, and as the example of poor Thomas Kyd, along with the printers of the Marprelate texts, William Prynne, the author of Histriomastix, Thomas Hayward, and others, attests, a literary artist would be able to identify with Autolycus’s fear.
Identification with the fears of the shepherds is what enables Autolycus to be convincing in his threats. As an artist, Shakespeare’s sympathy for the victims of state terror may be what accounts for his letting Jachimo off with a warning. By 1610, torture was only suitable as a memory of bygone tyranny still fresh enough to be an effective deterrent. The process that Nietzsche describes and Foucault traces was already occurring in England and is discernible in the narrative of The Winter's Tale. The tortures and atrocities of the Sicilian régime (whose external reality brought about its spiritual demise) have become internalized in the new Bohemian summer by rogues and shepherds alike. Like broken horses, rogue, artist, and shepherds render faithful service to the state. In order for the renaissance of the régime to be successful, they must be given their proper reward. Autolycus receives his patronage, not from the prince but from the shepherds who are made gentlemen. By the end of The Winter's Tale, the transvaluation of the feudal values which defined nobility in terms of unyielding independence into modern values that define nobility in terms of submission to the will of the state is complete. The text of The Winter's Tale therefore stands as a document of the genealogy of modern morals.
 L. A. Parry in The History of Torture in England makes the argument that the term torture is used too lightly by historians and that it should be restricted to the use of pain to elicit information or confession, according to which the quartering of Damiens would not be called torture but execution. I do not believe that Nietzsche’s discussion of torture is limited to this legalistic distinction, so my own use of the term torture will apply to any legal infliction of pain.
 In embellishing Boccaccio with the detail that the flayed man should be given a southern exposure, Autolycus parodies the exaggerated poetics of these kinds of sentences.
The subtitle to Discipline and Punish.
 Whipping at the cart’s tail was not finally abolished in Great Britain until early in the nineteenth century. The last sentence of this nature to be executed was in 1800... when a rioter was whipped through the streets of Glasgow by the hangman. (Scott 38)
 ...Damiens’s execution was altogether exceptional. The judges, uncertain what punishment to inflict for so heinous a crime, decided to impose the same sentence that the previous regicide, Francois Ravaillac, had received in 1610. French authorities had not quartered anyone in the intervening years, and they would never do so again. (Spierenburg in Morris 49)
 The scene that opens the book [Discipline and Punish] therefore turns out to be doubly disturbing. For if the text that follows is designed to arouse the most profound skepticism about the virtues of the modern penal system, it simultaneously invites the reader to contemplate with unwonted sympathy what Foucault calls l’eclat des supplices — the splendor and explosive glory of death by torture. (Miller 471)
 Years ago, Nietzsche, probing deeply into the motivations actuating society, discerned the existence of phenomena — which Schrenck-Norzing describes collectively as algolagnia—underlying and imperiling so-called civilization: the sadism behind and functioning through government, religion, law and order; the masochism readily observable in the meek and slave-like submission of the masses to continually increasing inroads upon their freedom, the ever-increasing subservience of man to the domination of woman. Algolagnia is a term used by Schrenck-Norzing to include both sadism and masochism as both being interlinked forms of painful lasciviousness. (Scott x)
 Title of the first essay in Genealogy of Morals.
The origin of the opposites good and bad is to be found in the pathos of nobility and distance, representing the dominant temper of a higher, ruling class in relation to a lower, dependent one. (The lordly right of bestowing names is such that one would almost be justified in seeing the origin of language itself as an expression of the rulers’ power. They say, “This is that or that”; they seal off each thing and action with a sound and thereby take symbolic possession of it.) such an origin would suggest that there is no a priori necessity for associating the word good with altruistic deeds, as those moral psychologists are fond of claiming. In fact, it is only after aristocratic values have begun to decline that the egotism-altruism dichotomy takes possession of the human conscience...(Nietzsche 160)
 ...the denyall of that favor (to my thought resonable) hath mov’de me to coniecture some suspicion, that yor Lp holds me in, concerning Atheisme, a deadlie thing wch I was vndeserved chargd wthall... Of my religion & life I haue alredie geven some instance to the late commssionrs & of my reverend meaning to the state, although p[er]haps my paines and—vndeserved tortures felt by some, wold haue ingendred more impatience when lesse by farr hath dryven so many imo extra causas wch it shall-- never do wth me. (Kyd)
 Although they plead for intercession with his patron, Kyd’s letters to Puckering indicate the importance of advocacy by influential courtiers in the legal process that Autolycus plays upon in order to further his own career interests. The multiplication of agents of the legal system beyond the judges themselves is identified by Foucault as a stage in the genealogy of modern penality that works to distance the judge from the role of punisher.
 That I shold loue or be familer frend, wth one so irreligious, were verie rare, when Tullie saith Digni sunt amicitia quibs in ipsis inest causa cur diligantur wch neither was in him, for p[er]son, quallities, or honestie, besides he was intemp[er]ate & of a cruel hart, the verie contraries to wch, my greatest enemies; will saie by me. It is not to be nombred amongst the best conditions of men, to taxe or to opbraide the deade Quia mortui non mordent, But thus muche haue I (wth yor Lps favor) dared in the greatest cause, wch is to cleere my self of being thought an Atheist, which some will sweare he was. (Kyd)
 Hence with it, and together with the dam commit them to the fire! 2,3,93-4
 [Andokides 415 BCE] ...says that he had opposed the plan to mutilate the herms... He had denied participation in the conspiracy and says, “I supported this account... by handing over my slave for torture, to prove that I was ill at the time in question and had not even left my bed.” Among other such passages, this one suggests definitively that such incidents of torture did actually take place, rather than being merely hypothetical possibilities in the spectrum of legal argument. (Dubois 52)
 ...the notorious Whipping Act which was added to the statute book during the reign of the eighth Henry, in 1530... was designed specifically to put down vagrancy, and it provided that any vagrant detected in the act should be haled to the nearest town possessing a market-place “and there tied to the end of a cart naked, and beaten with whips throughout each market town, or other place, till the body shall be bloody by reason of such whipping...” (Scott 38).
 YORK In your protectorship you did devise strange tortures for offenders never heard of, that England was defamed by tyranny.
GLOUCESTER Why, 'tis well known that, whiles I was protector, pity was all the fault that was in me; ... Unless it were a bloody murderer, or foul felonious thief that fleeced poor passengers... (2HVI III,I)
[n.b. The torturing of thieves is no defense against a charge of tyranny. The foul felonious fleecing thief could easily be a description of Autolycus]
 There has been some debate as to whether a live bear was brought on the stage, or a man in costume, or even just a placard. The fact that the original use of the theaters had been for bear and bull baitings lends credence to the possibility that real bears were available. The King’s Men had also played Mucedorous, referred to in Riverside as “the most popular Elizabethan play” the year that Shakespeare is purported to have written The Winter's Tale, which did include a live bear.
 The lion is Leontes, the prodigal monarch. Hence, the title of this paper.
 LEONTES Mark and perform it, see'st thou! for the fail
Of any point in't shall not only be
Death to thyself but to thy lewd-tongued wife,
Whom for this time we pardon. We enjoin thee,
As thou art liege-man to us, that thou carry
This female bastard hence and that thou bear it
To some remote and desert place quite out
Of our dominions, and that there thou leave it,
Without more mercy, to its own protection
And favour of the climate. As by strange fortune
It came to us, I do in justice charge thee,
On thy soul's peril and thy body's torture...
ANTIGONUS I swear to do this, though a present death
Had been more merciful.
 i.e. Preparatory to an execution or to obtain information or confession
 i.e. When the bear of authority is no longer hungry
 In trying to imagine what kind of institutions might, in the future, reinforce rather than weaken the ‘will to power, it- is useful to-recall that-different historical cultures have differed widely in the degree of internalization that they have required and also in the externalized displays of power that they have permitted. For long centuries, as we have seen, the state, according to Nietzsche, employed the most “fearful means” for molding its human material. (Miller 477)
 Heresy is a form of ideological sedition and is usually connected to the charge of alliances with political enemies of the state. Heresy and sedition in a state where church and state are embodied in the monarch are both forms of pétit regicide, and the petty crimes against aristocrats for which torture warrants were occasionally issued are an acknowledgment of the fact that the legitimacy of the law and of property are also located in the body of the prince. “...the public execution...was logically inscribed in a system of punishment, in which the sovereign, directly or indirectly, demanded, decided and carried out punishments, in so far as it was he who, through the law, had been injured by the crime. In every offence there was a crimen majestaris and in the least criminal a potential regicide. And the regicide, in turn, was neither more nor less, than the total, absolute criminal (Foucault 54)
 What the treason of Essex and the heresy and sedition of Fawkes failed to accomplish, the moneyed capitalist class, through Puritanism and Republicanism accomplished with the execution of Charles I in 1643. The crown was once again touchable and its power gave way to the increasing power of Parliament. Nietzsche might argue that, as with the abolition of torture, the abolition of monarchy is further evidence of the consolidation of the power of the state
 As Shakespeare already wore the king’s livery at this point, he may have been bucking for the support of prince Henry, viewed by man to be the natural successor to the Tudor myth. It seems strangely prophetic that Henry died the following year, considering that Shakespeare has the son of Leontes die as punishment for his misdeeds.
 Autolycus says that he has formerly been in the prince’s service. Many of the masterless men like Autolycus who became highwaymen were former mercenaries in the service of feudal lords. Players were also, incidentally, subject to legal prosecution unless they wore the livery of an aristocratic patron.
24th Aug. 1589. A letter to Mr. Fortescue. esquier, Master of the Wardrobe, Mr. Rookesby. Master of St. Katherins, and Mr. Recorder of London. requiring them to examine uppon such interrogatories as they shall thincke meet for that purpose to be sett downe one John Hodgekys a printer, accompanied by one Valentine Syms and Arthur Thornlyn, the one a setter of letters and the other a worker at the presse, lately apprehended by the Erle of Darby ... had begun to printe a very seditious booke penned by him that termeth himself Martyn Marprelate. which together with so muche thereof as they had printed they shall receive herewith. The said Hodgekys. a principal1 man and by whom the other two were hyered. hathe bene by the said Erle in the countrye examined, and the rest also together with the said Hodgekys have been dealt withall by their Lordships and will confesse nothing. They shall resort to Brydewell, and if they cannot bring them to confesse the truthe, shalbe removed to the Tower...[i.e. to be racked or manacled]
 “...with very profuse collections, he exposed the liberties of the stage, and condemned the very lawfulness of acting. In this way of writing he could not refrain from over-doing any subject and from many appearances of railing. And because the Court became now more addicted to these ludicrous entertainments, and the Queen herself was so fond of the amusement that she had bore the part of a pastoral in her own royal person; therefore this Treatise against Plays was suspected to be leveled against the practice of the court, and the example of the queen; and it was supposed an Innuendo, that in the table of the Book this reference was put, ‘Women actors notorious whores’.