After reading the first two acts, it is clear that Leontes will be a very interesting and unpredictable character to follow. His sudden change in perspective towards his wife, Hermione, and childhood friend, Polixenes, seemed very unwarranted on the surface just having been introduced to the characters. However, it makes me wonder if his frustrations and doubts stem from something that has happened in the past between him and Polixenes. It seemed as if Polixenes and Leontes had a long-lasting friendship and good relationship, so it was odd to see Leontes’ insecurities go into effect so quickly.
Regardless, Leontes after the first two acts definitely shows personality signs of the Dark Triad: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellian. Once he convinces himself that his wife is cheating on him, he immediately goes into a tirade ordering that Polixenes is poisoned, wife thrown in jail, and requesting that his own daughter be left in the woods, without any empathy. When Leontes says “How blest am I/In my just censure, in my true opinion!/Alack, for lesser knowledge! How accursed/In being so blest!” (2, 1, 47-50), it is even clearer how narcissistic he is and thinks that he knows everything. I am curious to see if themes of gender and class will become more prevalent as the play goes on in explaining why Leontes is the way that he is.