The Winter's Tale
The Winter’s Tale
Unique Features of the Signet Classic Shakespeare
• An extensive overview of Shakespeare’s life, world, and theater by the general editor of the Signet Classic Shakespeare series, Sylvan Barnet
• Special introduction to the play b...more
A masterpiece, demonstrating how grace redeems and love restores over time. This play features one of Shakespeare's most interesting psychological studies (Leontes) and two of his most charming heroines (Hermione and Perdita). Shakespeare's art has deepened to the point where he can deliberately choose an outrageously improbable denouement and present it in a way that makes his play more moving and richer symbolically than it would have been with a more probable conclusion.
It's also the most heartfelt and insightful depiction of love and relationships that I've seen in t...more
- As much as any work of Shakespeare that I have read, this felt at times to be a conglomerate of story lines and genres. Personally, I was most taken with the first three Acts of the play, which followed the formula for tragedy (I have heard it referred to as Othello-lite). The middle section of the play bears resemblance to Shakespeare's comedies. The ending section places it in the category with Shakespeare's romances, due l...more
Even a cursory examination of the text makes it clear in how many ways the play strays from reality. The se...more
Shakespeare can basically do no wrong, especially writing in blank iambic pentameter, which he, along with Milton, is the master of. Metaphors and similes feel quite dry and under-used in this present-day world. The cold, calculating confidence of our scientific speech, or the crude, fractured, and unconscious poetry of slang doesn't quite cut it in comparison to the mesmerizing shapes of sound that issue like marble figures...more
Some thoughts on Leontes: “Engendering the Narrative Act” by Mary Lamb (another criticism read for grad school) got me thinking about the question what must be forgotten to move forward? Lamb writes that boys must forget their connection with the feminine to become men but deems this separation “potentially traumatic” (533). I’m curious now about the function of Leontes’ memory in the play....more
Polixenes, the King of Bohemia, has been visiting his pal King Leontes in Sicilia, and eventually he wants to go home. But after Queen Hermione convinces him to stay...more
Act I details the dawning and development of Leontes’ baseless jealousy of his innocent wife, Hermione, and his best friend, Polixenes, a jealousy that threa...more
Autolycus steals the show in the way that only a good-natured rogue can. “Though I am not naturally honest, I am sometime...more
More on that latter, but just to give an overall perspective, this is the story of a foolish king, who everything is going great for, he has a loving queen, his neighboring kingdom is run by his best friend, he has a smart young son who looks to become a good king after him and the kingdom itself is running smoothly. Then the king notices that his wife is friends with t...more
- Autolycus's scene with the clown (satire of court life, yus)
- Paulina (one badass lady)
- The bear (my favourite character)
I feel very strange giving something by Shakespeare just one star, but here we go. This is actually so far Shakespeare's only play I haven't enjoyed. I love all the other ones I've read (Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, 12th Night and Henry IV pt. 1) but this one I just couldn't get into at all.
I don't find sexual jeal...more
Oh, I've got it: I'll write a play that begins as a tragedy–let's set it in winter because "a sad tale's best for winter" (2.1.25)– but halfway through, I'll come out on stage dressed up as Time, holding an hourglass, and re-do the whole play...more
That said, it's a pretty good read. The language can be lovely, and even though you will probably want to beat Leonates about the head and shoulders (we all do, don't worry), it's s...more
Someone on here validly pointed out that Winter's Tale is "a fairy tale that is pagan in setting but Christian in its themes, which include guilt, repentance, redemption, resurrection, forgivenes...more
And the answer is ‘Somewhat’. Shakespeare’s English is about as comprehensible as Lowland Scots, at least to an untutored ear. His writing is full of words whose meanings have changed radically and are therefore very confusing.
Getting a well annotated copy of a play is a great idea to help clarify the meanings of words and phrases but it does detract mightily from...more
Struggled with this. The whole sexual jealousy thing just doesn't resonate with me (though I love Bloom and others' suggestion that it's really homosexual confusion that sets the whole thing off). But watching Mendes/Bridge Project's extraordinary production the why didn't matter. It just worked.
Superficially it's much like Cymbeline (which I adore). Conflic...more
I sometimes have a hard time relating to character's in Shakespeare because I feel like so many times they have such extreme emotions, like King Leontes in this tale, that they are always beyond reason and it...more