"To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods," Leontes asserts at the beginning of The Winter's Tale. His disturbing aside, uttered at the very moment he erroneously imagines his wife's infidelity, reveals an anxiety that even ordinary social interactions are potentially contaminating, that intermingling adulterates. In The Winter's Tale Shakespeare might even be said to fight Paul with Paul, for, even as he arouses the fear that playwrights practice a kind of witchcraft — a fear that, in the antitheatrical tracts, is often grounded in the Pauline epistles. He identifies his playwright figure with Paul and the Pauline rebuke. Moreover, in the early part of the play, he pits Paulina's rebukes against Leontes' misogynist tirades, quite deliberately, the author think, gesturing towards Paul's reputation for misogyny and his specific admonishment that wives should obey their husbands.