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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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3,418392,370 (3.7)150
  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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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
The Winter’s Tale is part tragedy, part comedy; a combination that for me did not work so well. Leontes displays the worst kind of tyranny of a jealous man; destroying his wife and children by his rage; losing his best friend and trusted servant in the process. The destructive power of jealousy is well described - he cannot hear good counsel, and rails that those who give it are trying to cover up the crime he imagines. The severe and solemn tones of the first three acts are all tragedy, ending with tragic deaths and departures.

Then we swerve into comedy in the last two acts - sheperd’s festival, bawdy jokes, a thief’s dirty tricks, and a love story dominate the second half. Darker tones do surface, however, in an angry king, echoing Leontes’ tyranny. But is it all well if it ends well? And, perhaps most ambigously of all Shakespeare’s plays I have read, does it really end well? What did really happen?

My Arden Shakespeare edition advises me that the Reneissance’s big questions are pondered here - Time and Nature and the like. Perhaps. I am still reading the non-play parts of the text, so I might learn more. However, without the talking heads interpreting the text for me, I find this play a bit too disjointed - the two tones did not merge for me well, and I could not forgive Leontes for his tyranny, which went unpunished, as it was his right to abuse his wife in such terrible way. It us a reminder how utterly women were subjected to men, and that their word did not count. ( )
  Gezemice | Mar 8, 2019 |
I have drunk and seen the spider.

One’s suspension of disbelief will be sorely tested here. The king of Sicily is a paranoid git. Was he always of this character or did he arrive at such by an untoward alignment of humors? Again, just go with it. The tyrant is convinced that his wife has been untrue. The king of Bohemia is the suspect. His wife is pregnant, a physical symbol of his being cuckolded. This is a comedy, right? He's allowed to fume and bellow, allowing a stage of fire and fury to persist through a trial and beyond with a flourish of Nixonian exactness .

The accused flee and then the sunny Czech coast becomes the subsequent location as sixteen years have lapsed since the previous act, the interim allowing the child to have grown to a plot pivot. There’s a bear, a clown and several royals in disguise. There is an amazing of wooing where the natural character of the garden is discussed and explored. I was hoping for something akin to The Tempest and alas it didn’t happen. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
The Penguin editors' sensibilities really match "The Winter's Tale". ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
The first Shakespeare I've read on my own, i.e. not for a class. Not sure what I think of it yet. The ending seemed wooden, as if everyone was just going through the motions. Probably my own projection.

It was enjoyable, but I'm motivated more by my desire to read Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare than I am Shakespeare himself. ( )
  TheMagnificentKevin | Oct 12, 2018 |
This is another Shakespeare play I have read in anticipation of seeing it next weekend at The Globe, as I did a fortnight ago with Othello. However, I found this play to be nowhere near as enjoyable. The plot seems too thin and insubstantial in practice for five acts, and the atmosphere of fantasy does not work for me - this is considered one of the Bard's "problem plays", neither a true tragedy nor a comedy, though containing elements of both. Like Othello, it is marked by themes of jealousy and remorse, but nowhere near as vividly and convincingly for me. ( )
  john257hopper | Oct 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (244 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Shakespeareprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andrews, John F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Armfield, MaxwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barnet, SylvanIntroductionsecondary 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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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.)
Disambiguation notice
This work is for the complete The Winter's Tale only. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or simplifications (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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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 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 26 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014071488X, 0141013893

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