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Das Wintermärchen
William Shakespeare
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Das Wintermärchen

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  19,837 Ratings  ·  798 Reviews
One of Shakespeare's later plays, best described as a tragic-comedy, the play falls into two distinct parts. In the first Leontes is thrown into a jealous rage by his suspicions of his wife Hermione and his best-friend, and imprisons her and orders that her new born daughter be left to perish. The second half is a pastoral comedy with the "lost" daughter Perdita having bee ...more
Published (first published January 4th 1600)
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Something for Shakespeare In The Park, maybe?

“Good my Lord, be cured of this diseased opinion, and betimes, for ‘tis most dangerous.”

That is the well-meant advice Camillo gives the delusional King Leontes, whose whims and flawed imagination are about to destroy his family and his kingdom. Needless to say, the all-powerful king does not listen. The drama unfolds with predictably disastrous effects, as the most powerful person is at the same time the most self-indulgent, paranoid and mentally unde
Dec 15, 2016 Dolors rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Irreverent dreamers
“A sad tale’s best for winter”

An incredible potpourri of comedy, tragedy and fantasy that once again defies categorization. Dramatic realism comes through in the form of an obsessively jealous king, reminiscent of well-known Othello, the complex relationships between parents and children, as in King Lear or Hamlet, mystical resonance in Greek legends that contemplate sculptures turning into human beings, recalling the Christian concept of resurrection, and a lush, floral poetry that evokes the r
Hailey (HaileyInBookland)
*Read for class!
Jan 18, 2009 Madeline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
I decided not to do an abridged version of this play because, frankly, it's already so ridiculous that I can't improve on it. Instead, we here at Madeline Reviews Inc present a fictionalized account of an event that probably occured right before the writing of this (thankfully) little-known play. Enjoy:

SCENE: a tavern in Renaissance London. CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE and BEN JONSON are sitting at the bar, already several ales into the morning. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE enters, falls down, and then gets up an
Feb 12, 2016 Cecily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Image of Dench and Branagh, 2016:

Reviews of audio books count, so I guess watching a play should, too. Perhaps more so, as that was the author's intended medium.

I saw a stage production of The Winter's Tale a few days after finishing Jeanette Winterson's modern novelisation, The Gap of Time, which I reviewed HERE.

My mother tells me I saw the play in my late teens, but I have no memory of it. My knowledge of the plot was from Winterson's summary and then
Bill  Kerwin

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.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
عنوان: حکایت زمستان؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر؛
ماخذ اصلی این نمایشنامه حکایت عاشقانه و روستایی پیروزی زمان، اثر: رابرت گرین (1588، چاپ دوم 1607) نویسنده هم عصر شکسپیر است؛ اما تغییرات بسیاری در داستان گرین داده شده است. از جمله ی این تغییرات میتوان به: زنده نگه داشته شدن ملکه مظلوم، حذف یک خواسته ناشایست شاه و خودکشی نکردن شاه در انتهای داستان؛ نام برد. زنده شدن مجسمه ی ملکه ممکن است از افسانه های پیگمالیون، یا آلستیس یونان باستان، استخراج شده باشد
نمایشنامه ای
When I read this in High School last, I believed that I loved it more than all the other Shakespeare plays combined, and it still holds a ton of charm for me now, although not quite as much as before.

For one, the thief was slightly more annoying than as a charming plot device.

For another, it's hard to believe that even divorce could be so reconciled. :)

Granted, this is an almost magical divorce, so why not ramp up the reconciliation to wipe away the tragedy of a child's death, the loss of the ne
Dec 26, 2010 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Abridged version: (inspired by Madeline's great abridged versions)

Act I
LEONTES, KING OF SICILY: You are my bestest friend since childhood, Polixenes!
POLIXENES, KING OF BOHEMIA: You are my bestest friend too, Leontes! But it’s been 9 months and, y’know, I need to get home to my kingdom and son and all.
KING LEONTES: NOOOOOO. I need you in my life! Stay, stay!
QUEEN HERMIONE: I agree with my husband.
KING POLIXENES: Well, shucks, fine, I’ll stay a little longer.
Dec 27, 2011 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Exit, pursued by a bear.”

Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction is perhaps the most famous, or infamous, stage direction in drama.

Beyond the odd line, this is a fun, meaningful play and one of The Bard’s more unusual dramatic comedies.

The story of a jealous husband falls far short of Othello, both in scale and in depth. This has moments, Hermione's soliloquy, Antigone's plea to Leontes, but also very disjointed and with a crazy ending! (and apparently geography was not an exact science back
Apr 26, 2016 Bettie☯ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners

Description: Eve Best, Danny Sapani and Shaun Dooley star in the magical product of the Bard's later years. Treading new dramatic ground The Winter's Tale embraces tragedy, poetry, folklore, magic realism, music, comedy and the infamous stage direction "exit pursued by a bear".

Oct 21, 2011 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, poetry
You might be forgiven for thinking that the most ‘fairy-tale’ like of Shakespeare’s plays is A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. I mean, there are fairies and sprites and crazy things like that running about in it. But in some ways this play is even more like a fairy-tale. The play also starts off a bit like Othello – where jealousy inspires acts of vengeance, even though the cause of the jealousy is baseless and the product of a mind fevered by suspicion. The first half of the play ends pretty much wer ...more
Nov 18, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ambitious bears
Shelves: 2016, 2016-bingo
"Exit, pursued by a bear" is the most famous stage direction in literature. It comes here in Winter's Tale, at the end of Act III, and it's famous because it's funny.

And the really funny thing is it's been a hella dark play until this moment. What happened is King Leontes has become suddenly and irrationally convinced that his wife is cheating on him (like Othello, with some Lear), so he thinks his infant daughter isn't his, so he orders her exposed in the wilderness to die, and the guy who dro
Oh, toto bolo skvelé. Výborný príbeh, fantastický preklad.
Neviem prečo som už tak dlho od Shakespearea nič nečítala.
Oct 08, 2007 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Shakespeare's last four, this usually gets filed under Romance in the more modern anthologies, but you could just as easily file it under fustercluck. There's an underlying logic to this bifurcated tale, but I'm not sure I buy it. It's a sharply divided tragi-comedy. The first three acts are a compressed tragedy of Leontes, who puts the insane in insanely jealous. It's hurried, and despite hints that Leontes' masculine insecurities have festered for years, the violence of his reaction to ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Maxwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has quickly moved up to become one of my favorite Shakespeare play that I've read. It has a fairytale quality to it that I adored. And it definitely feels wintery which I loved.

It has an interesting mix of tragedy and comedy, with a romantic ending, which reminds me a lot of The Tempest (another of my favorites).
Very pleased to have read this one, and I can't wait to discuss it in lecture!
Cindy Rollins
You can see Shakespeare getting darker and darker as he ages. I would despair if I didn't know two of his best plays are still to come.

One thing you do notice is that Shakespeare understands redemption. He offers it to even the worst tyrants. Not many writers are brave enough to that.
Keith Mukai
Feb 06, 2007 Keith Mukai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written near the very end of Shakespeare's run, this is a mature work from a mature writer. It has elements that are oddly light and somewhat comical but it's not quite a comedy. It's not a tragedy either. I think it's more a fairy tale about forgiveness late in life and magically being granted a second chance. This is wish-fulfillment from a writer who must have experienced a lot of personal pain.

It's also the most heartfelt and insightful depiction of love and relationships that I've seen in t
Laurel Hicks
This is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. It's like a fairy tale that is pagan in setting but Christian in its themes, which include guilt, repentance, redemption, resurrection, forgiveness, grace,and love. There are, in a sense, two plays here, divided by the passage of time. The first play ends with the stage note, "Exit, pursued by a bear." This time through, I listened to the audio production from my Arkangel Complete Shakespeare set. An added benefit of this audio--Ciaran Hines plays ...more
Liz Janet
Feb 28, 2015 Liz Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
A beautiful queen named Hermione, resurrection, the oracle of Delphi, a jealous husband, someone trying to do good gets eaten by a bear, royalty does not know is royalty, love wants to conquer, happy end.
David Sarkies
Jun 07, 2014 David Sarkies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody really
Recommended to David by: Highschool
Shelves: romance
Not one of the Bard's best efforts
15 June 2014

Some people have suggested that when it comes to very old, or even ancient literature, the fact that we still have it is testimony to the lasting quality of that work, and as such it should not be rated, or more aptly receive a low rating, because of that. Okay, I agree that this is certainly the case when it comes to a lot of the ancient literature that we have, but I also suggest that maybe some rubbish has also come down to us. Then there is also
Jan 31, 2008 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember listening to my 12th grade english teacher explain why he didn't like the book. It has too much, he said. The romance and the lost child and the political intrigue and the clown and magic. But that's exactly why I love it: the giant jumble of everything Shakespeare loved to explore. I love the surprisingly strong and well-developed female characters. I love the story and the wild adventures that happen, but which are all grounded in an emotional story about love, family and regret. Pe ...more
Jun 01, 2007 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Shakespeare fans. This one is a bit more difficult to get into.
This is one of the more bizarre plotlines. With bizarre characters. Which don't fit together. The plot doesn't quite cobble enough for me. It's like a puzzle, where the edges of the pieces sort of lay on top of each other, instead of locking together. So you end up with Niagara Falls falling off backwards on the picture. There are some interesting statements made here, and a few scenes of good fun... but if you're going to read some Shakespeare? There are many other ones to read first.
Ea Solinas
Apr 30, 2011 Ea Solinas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Winter's Tale" is one of Shakespeare's most underrated works, probably because it can't be easily classified as a romance or a comedy. That's a shame, because this lush, emotionally-wrenching little play displays Shakespeare's powerful writing and fine grasp of human nature. It's just incredibly moving and exquisitely written.

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
Mar 23, 2010 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is University of Virginia’s Professor Clare Kinney’s favorite Shakespeare play, and as she described it in her final Teaching Company lecture, she was clearly moved to tears. I recall having seen it at the Chicago Shakespeare in 2002 or 2004; it was good, and I was eager to experience it once again, this time, alas, only in the reading.

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
Brilliantly written in terms of wit and expression, even for Shakespeare, and that's saying something. In that capacity, it must be one of his best. If it is not as widely read, studied, or performed as several of his tragedies, it is perhaps because it is not as compelling in its themes as something like Hamlet, Lear, or Othello. It has a sort of melodramatic tone, and it is something akin to the early Greek romantic novels like Callirrhoe or An Ethiopian Tale, but with a sparser plot as is fit ...more
From BBC Radio 3 - Drama on 3:
Eve Best, Danny Sapani and Shaun Dooley star in the magical product of the Bard's later years. Treading new dramatic ground The Winter's Tale embraces tragedy, poetry, folklore, magic realism, music, comedy and the infamous stage direction "exit pursued by a bear".

Part of the BBC Shakespeare Festival.

Music composed by Tim Van Eyken, Singer Lisa Knapp.

4* Antony and Cleopatra
4* A Midsummer Night's Dream
3* Twelfth Night
5* Lenny H
Jan 11, 2016 Xueting rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here's my professor's study question for this play: Would you suggest that Leontes’s problem has to do with jealousy, or is it something much worse?

Honestly I think if it's something worse than jealousy it's just even more stupid.

Truly the strangest Shakespeare play I've read (and I think of all). Act 1 scene 2 already made me want to pull my hair out because of the unnecessary and unconvincing wordiness!!! King Leontes must top the list of most annoying and senseless characters. Then the bear.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Oct 07, 2014 Rachel (Kalanadi) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
I really enjoyed this even though it's crazy and the beginning and ending don't fit each other. Seriously, what the hell was Leontes thinking? And a statue came to life? And all is forgiven or something? But it was entertaining!
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
This story is all over the place, but I loved the random plot and the clueless characters! I can't figure out if it's a hilarious tragedy or a dark comedy, but I was certainly never bored.

In this play, King Leontes is suddenly struck with the erroneous belief that his wife, Hermione, is cheating on him with his childhood friend, King Polixenes. He descends into a form of madness, trying to assassinate his friend, publicly accusing his wife of being unfaithful, and sentencing his actual child (wh
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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“A sad tale's best for winter: I have one of sprites and goblins.” 280 likes
“Exit, pursued by a bear.” 262 likes
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