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The Winter's Tale Paperback – Jun 20 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (June 20 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486411184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486411187
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13 x 0.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 82 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #307,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

"He was not of an age, but for all time," declared Ben Jonson of his contemporary William Shakespeare (1564–1616). Jonson's praise is especially prescient, since at the turn of the 17th century Shakespeare was but one of many popular London playwrights and none of his dramas were printed in his lifetime. The reason so many of his works survive is because two of his actor friends, with the assistance of Jonson, assembled and published the First Folio edition of 1623.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 25 2011
Format: Paperback
"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 awhile, Leontes suddenly goes nuts and decides that Polixenes and Hermione have been having an affair, and that her unborn child must be his old friend's. Polixenes flees back to his own land, and Hermione dies soon after her newborn daughter is abandoned in the wilderness.

Of course, Leontes soon finds out that he was off his gourd, and that poor Hermione was completely innocent. Charming, isn't he? Sixteen years later, Polixenes' son Florizel falls in love with a mysterious young shepherdess, who is actually Leontes' daughter Perdita (of course!). But with royal opposition to their marriage, the young couple must overcome many obstacles before everything is settled happily.

"A Winter's Tale" is a curious hybrid of Shakespeare's different theatrical "types" -- there's some gentle comedy, some mellow tragedy, and a hefty dose of romance. The first three acts are basically one long disaster, with Leontes' crazy paranoia destroying his friendships, marriage and children's lives, until it seems that there's no happy ending for anybody.

But the last few acts are very different. Shakespeare's writing takes on a more romantic, sweet tone, particularly when Florizel and Perdita are lavishing lovers' praise on each other ("My prettiest Perdita!
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Oct. 18 2001
Format: Paperback
The Winter's Tale contains some of the most technically difficult solutions to telling a story that have ever appeared in a play. If you think you know all about how a play must be constructed, read The Winter's Tale. It will greatly expand your mind.
The play opens near the end of a long visit by Polixenes, the king of Bohemia, to the court of his childhood friend, Leontes, the king of Sicily. Leontes wants his friend to stay one more day. His friend declines. Leontes prevails upon his wife, Hermione, to persuade Polixenes. Hermione does her husband's bidding, having been silent before then. Rather than be pleased that she has succeeded, Leontes goes into a jealous rage in which he doubts her faithfulness. As his jealousy grows, he takes actions to defend his misconceptions of his "abused" honor that in fact abuse all those who have loved him. Unable to control himself, Leontes continues to pursue his folly even when evidence grows that he is wrong. To his great regret, these impulsive acts cost him dearly.
Three particular aspects of the play deserve special mention. The first is the way that Shakespeare ties together actions set 16 years apart in time. Although that sounds like crossing the Grand Canyon in a motorcycle jump, Shakespeare pulls off the jump rather well so that it is not so big a leap. The second is that Shakespeare captures entirely different moods from hilarious good humor to deep depression and remorse closely adjacent to one another. As a result, the audience is able to experience many more emotions than normally are evoked in a single play. Third, the play's final scene is as remarkable a bit of writing as you can imagine. Read it, and marvel!
After you finish reading this play, think about where your own loss of temper has had bad consequences.
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Format: Paperback
This play, in my opinion, is Shakespeare's greatest. It doesn't have the great quotes or the great characters or the action of many of his plays, but it has a 'Surprise Twist' which caused chills to run through my entire body. I read ALL of Shakespeare's plays and 'The Winter's Tale' is the ONLY one which shocked me at the end, took my breath away, and sent chills through my body.
If you read only one Shakespeare play, make it 'The Winter's Tale'. I am so surprised that nobody ever recommended this play to us when we were in school. People just talk about Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, and Romeo and Juliet, but 'The Winter's Tale' beats them all. Read it!!! You WON'T be disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 71 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
My personal favorite of Shakespeare's plays July 21 2001
By Henry Ehrman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For me The Winter's Tale is the most satisfying of Shakespeare's plays. And why? It may not be Hamlet for tragedy, it may not be Twelfth Night for comedy -- indeed, perhaps in the great objective sense this is not nearly his best; but as a coherent work this has them all beat. Here we find all sides of Shakespeare's genius on display: Leontes shares his intense sexual jealousy with Othello, and Florizel and Perdita take their light-hearted romantic comedy interplay (complete with disguises and recogntions) from the best of Shakespeare's comedies, before his sense of the romantic soured into the bitter genius of the problem plays. Add that to the eerily lyrical poetry of Act IV, and you've got a masterpiece. The Winter's Tale is laugh-out-loud funny at times; it's ribald; it's profoundly tragic; and in the end, it's a look at the craft of theater, the craft of literature and ultimately the craft of living. Unjustly ignored, The Winter's Tale is easily as good as its immediate successor, The Tempest -- and that's high praise indeed.
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
A Redemptive Tragedy May 27 2003
By Oddsfish - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Winter's Tale is a lot of things: heart-breaking, exhilerating, funny, beautiful, romantic, profound, etc. Yeah, it's all here. This is one of the bard's best plays, and I can't believe they don't teach this in schools. Of course, the ones they teach are excellent, but I can see high school kids enjoying this one a lot more than some of those others (Othello, King Lear).
The story is, of course, brilliant. King Leontes goes into a jealous rage at the beginning against his wife Hermione. Leontes is very mistaken in his actions, and the result is tragic. Shakespeare picks the story back up sixteen years later with the children, and the story works to a really, really surprising end of bittersweet redemption.
This is one of Shakespeare's bests. The first half is a penetrating and devestating, but the second half shows a capacity for salvation from the depths of despair. Also, this being Shakespeare, the blank verse is gorgeous and the characters are well drawn, and the ending is a surprise unparalleled in the rest of his plays. The Winter's Tale is a truly profound and entertaining read.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A curious play July 15 2005
By Zane Parks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Early compilers of Shakespeare's plays classified this a comedy, but there is much tragedy in it. Later it was called a romance. Through irrational jealousy a king is apparently responsible for the deaths of his entire family -- wife, son and daughter -- by mid-play. Time is a character in the play and at his one appearance summarizes the passage of sixteen years. If you have an overy high regard for realism, you may not much enjoy this play, but that will be true of more of Shakespeare than just this one tale. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I look forward to seeing it. I've ordered the BBC DVD and it's being performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2006. These Cambridge School editions have the play's text on right-hand pages; they have summary, commentary and exercises, and vocabulary on the facing left-hand pages. As I read through the play, I'd read the summary, read the play text paying attention to vocabulary, and then read the commentary and exercises. Some additional, unusual vocabulary was only explained in the commentary. I felt I got a deeper understanding of the play than if I had just read the play proper.mmary, commentary and exercises, and vocabulary on the facing left-hand pages. As I read through the play, I'd read the summary, read the play text paying attention to vocabulary, and then read the commentary and exercises. Some additional, unusual vocabulary was only explained in the commentary. I felt I got a deeper understanding of the play than if I had just read the play proper.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The Terrible Costs of Jealous Rage Oct. 18 2001
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Winter's Tale contains some of the most technically difficult solutions to telling a story that have ever appeared in a play. If you think you know all about how a play must be constructed, read The Winter's Tale. It will greatly expand your mind.
The play opens near the end of a long visit by Polixenes, the king of Bohemia, to the court of his childhood friend, Leontes, the king of Sicily. Leontes wants his friend to stay one more day. His friend declines. Leontes prevails upon his wife, Hermione, to persuade Polixenes. Hermione does her husband's bidding, having been silent before then. Rather than be pleased that she has succeeded, Leontes goes into a jealous rage in which he doubts her faithfulness. As his jealousy grows, he takes actions to defend his misconceptions of his "abused" honor that in fact abuse all those who have loved him. Unable to control himself, Leontes continues to pursue his folly even when evidence grows that he is wrong. To his great regret, these impulsive acts cost him dearly.
Three particular aspects of the play deserve special mention. The first is the way that Shakespeare ties together actions set 16 years apart in time. Although that sounds like crossing the Grand Canyon in a motorcycle jump, Shakespeare pulls off the jump rather well so that it is not so big a leap. The second is that Shakespeare captures entirely different moods from hilarious good humor to deep depression and remorse closely adjacent to one another. As a result, the audience is able to experience many more emotions than normally are evoked in a single play. Third, the play's final scene is as remarkable a bit of writing as you can imagine. Read it, and marvel!
After you finish reading this play, think about where your own loss of temper has had bad consequences. How can you give yourself time to get under control before acting rashly? How can you learn to be more open to positive interpretations of events, rather than dark and disturbing ones?
Love first, second, and always!
35 of 47 people found the following review helpful
KINDLE VERSION - Don't buy it Feb. 11 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
THIS REVIEW APPLIES TO THE KINDLE VERSION ONLY

This is another example of lazy publishers dumping text into a Kindle "book" and foisting it on the public without so much as a 10 second skimming of the text to see if it is worthy of release. It isn't. The text of the play is paginated so poorly that footnotes are now interspersed in the text (footnotes are helpful for reading older plays) and line numbers are now embedded in the text and the indication of who is speaking what lines are often jammed together.

As I said before, a supremely lazy effort that makes the kindle and e-book concept look bad.


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