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The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale (1623)

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,817292,066 (3.69)122
  1. 10
    Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare (Voracious_Reader)
    Voracious_Reader: Both The Winter's Tale and Pericles use a chorus to advance the play's action.

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English (27)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
exit, pursued by a bear! ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Ok, I like the ideas behind this play better than the work itself. It is ambitious and long and slow to read and unfortunately under produced.
( )
  gaveedra | Jan 8, 2016 |
This is not one of Shakespeare's best plays. It seems like a mashup of Othello (insane jealously) and Much Ado about Nothing (characters running around in disguises). The beginning feels like it's started in the middle. Some important revelations take place off-stage, described by minor characters instead of enacted by the central characters. Shakespeare's finest works seem to drip with cliches because they're the source of those cliches. This one does not. The most famous line from this play may be the stage direction “Exit pursued by a bear.” Recommended only for completists. ( )
  cbl_tn | Nov 9, 2015 |
Let's be real here. You're a typical nerd on the internet and you only know of this play as the "exit, pursued by a bear" play. To be honest, after reading the whole thing, that's not really an unfair conception of it. It's just not very interesting outside that one detail. What with the prevalence of bear-baiting in Shakespeare's time they probably used a real bear and I'm envisioning this play basically being a set-piece spectacle revolving around getting to see a bear chase a dude on stage. No need for the rest of the play to be any good, you're going to sell tickets just based on that. So clearly that's the real reason for the bear thing. I read some nerd on tumblr proclaiming that this was an example of laziness or recklessness audacity on Shakespeare's part because he needed to get rid of Antigonus to set up his ending and couldn't think of any other way to remove the character from the story. But that's bullshit. Paulina and Camillo's marriage is like the third-most important marriage in the ending sequence. It's an off-hand matter covered in a couple of lines, that pays off nothing because we never gave a shit about either of those two characters' love lives up until that point. No, Shakespeare put that bear in there because he damn well wanted a bear. ( )
  jhudsui | Sep 10, 2015 |
"This play can be divided into two parts: the first is a tragedy, the second can be seen as a comedy. The former – roughly the first three acts – is slow and often linguistically unintelligible. Thankfully, the second half is more enjoyable. Shakespeare wisely exchanges the cold court of Sicilia for Bohemia’s pleasant rural regions. We are, for the first time in the play, presented with characters drawn from the lower classes. Shakespeare’s peasants are generally far more relatable than his nobility.

Yet, whereas the first half of the play is drawn out, the second half suffers from a sense of rushed resolution. This is most evident in the final scene: when the threads of the play finally come together, one cannot help but feel that the ending is awkward and contrived.

It is not surprising that The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare's lesser known plays: it is bizarre and trying - both in terms of one's attention-span and one's capacity to suspend disbelief. Regardless, Shakespeare is always fun to read; his characters transcend time and beliefs. The Winter's Tale didn't make my top 5 Shakespeare plays, but it was sufficiently interesting to make me want to read more of his works.

Interesting quotes that I didn't include in the review:
Though I am not naturally honest, I am sometimes so by chance.

The Last Passage

Camillo, sir; I spake with him; who now
Has these poor men in question. Never saw I
Wretches so quake: they kneel, they kiss the earth;
Forswear themselves as often as they speak:
Bohemia stops his ears, and threatens them
With divers deaths in death.

O my poor father!—
The heaven sets spies upon us, will not have
Our contract celebrated.

You are married?

We are not, sir, nor are we like to be;
The stars, I see, will kiss the valleys first:—
The odds for high and low's alike.

My lord,
Is this the daughter of a king?

She is,
When once she is my wife.

That once, I see by your good father's speed,
" ( )
  AdemilsonM | Sep 2, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (68 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Shakespeareprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, John F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Armfield, MaxwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bate, JonathanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bjerke, AndréTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braunmuller, Albert RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooke, TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Claus, HugoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farjeon, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, RomaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, George B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hudson, Henry N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kermode, FrankEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, George LymanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LaMar, Virginia A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orgel, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pafford, John Henry PyleEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pierce, Frederick E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitcher, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rasmussen, EricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schnazer, ErnestEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tonkin, HumphreyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wells, Stanley W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia.
What's gone and what's past help
Should be past grief.
It is an heretic that makes the fire,
Not she that burns in 't.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743484894, Mass Market Paperback)

FOLGER Shakespeare Library


Each edition includes:

· Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

· Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

· Scene-by-scene plot summaries

· A key to famous lines and phrases

· An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

· An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

· Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Stephen Orgel

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:01 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Presents Shakespeare's drama depicting King Leontes, who accuses his boyhood friend of betrayal, condemns his wife for adultery, and banishes his newborn daughter.

» see all 10 descriptions

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Average: (3.69)
1 12
2 23
2.5 11
3 102
3.5 25
4 122
4.5 12
5 85


4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014071488X, 0141013893

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