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The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare
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The Winter's Tale (1623)

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,607242,297 (3.73)93
  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 (22)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (24)
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Deeply paranoid, Leontes, the King of Sicilia, decides that his wife has been having an affair with the visiting King of Bohemia, and that the baby she carries has been fathered by the visitor. Leontes demands that his friend Camillo murder King Polixenes, but instead, Camillo flees Sicilia with the King. Since he can't take revenge on the man, Leontes punishes the Queen and the newborn child, who is taken to Bohemia and left to the elements. She is rescued by a poor shepherd, who raises and loves her as a daughter, and the local prince falls in love with her, which causes problems with his father.

This play is a twofer- you get both a intense tragedy, along the lines of "Othello", then a romance. It's weird, because it's hard to transition from a king demanding that a newborn be burned alive to young love. For me, the first half, with the King's madness, was way more compelling. ( )
  mstrust | Dec 8, 2014 |
I think this is as bipolar a play as I've ever read and I feel that I must give it two reviews to do it justice.

I found Leontes in his green-eyed frenzy more disturbing than Othello. The Moor was an honest soldier subtly deceived. Leontes was an absolute monarch who went mad, roaring his diseased fancies in public, crushing dissent in those who knew better (with one exception), curable in the end only by the gods. (A regular Henry VIII, now that I think about it. ) The only person who stands up to him while he is in frenzy is the noblewoman Paulina, a great and unheralded creation, a role for Kathy Bates or Renee Zellweger.

I liked the second half well enough with its bumpkins and moonstruck lovers. I loved Autolycus the vagabond, pickpocket, sharper, the last in Shakespeare's long line of sharp rogues and clever clowns.

I've never read a more preposterous happy ending. I didn't mind too much. I wanted this play to end happily. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Nov 29, 2014 |
A tragedy that wanted to be a comedy. The Deus ex Machina of the ending (a statue coming to life -- that of a woman who died of grief and mortification at the hands of her husband) was a little absurd. And Hermione (reincarnated) embraces the bastard. What is up with that? A highly implausible story -- it would have made a much better tragedy. Leonates should have gotten his comeuppance. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 23, 2014 |
King Leontes of Sicilia orders that his newborn female child be killed because he fears it is not his. However, Lord Antigonus takes her and abandons her in on the Bohemian coast. When King Leontes's wife is found innocent, he will have no other heir unless the daughter is found. Hermione, Leontes wife, is reported dead to her heartbroken husband. Sixteen years passed, while Perdita, the lost daughter, is being taken care of by a shepherd. News gets to the king that there is a girl with no parents. The relationship is confirmed and everyone rejoices.

I found this book very hard to follow. Because this is fiction, it is hard to tell whether things are figurative or not. It is a quick read. The plot is good if you can understand it. I would only recommend this book to someone who likes reading. ( )
  SeraphinaC.B4 | Mar 15, 2014 |
"The Winter's Tale" has to be the best Shakespeare play that I'd never heard of... it was only thanks to trying to read his complete works that I stumbled across it.

The play is one of his last and it shows, the story is tight and well-paced. It centers on the aftermath created by an extremely jealous king, who accuses his wife of sleeping with his childhood friend, a fellow king. Antics ensure (and of course disguises) and they are well-done in this play.

This is definitely among by favorites by Shakespeare. ( )
  amerynth | Feb 18, 2014 |
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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
Farjeon, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, RomaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, George B.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
Schnazer, ErnestEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tonkin, HumphreyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wells, Stanley W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743484894, Mass Market Paperback)

FOLGER Shakespeare Library

THE WORLD'S LEADING CENTER FOR SHAKESPEARE STUDIES

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:56 -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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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014071488X, 0141013893

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