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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,499 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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Format: Audio CD
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(This review is for the talking book version of this play on compact disc by the "Complete Arkangel Shakespeare" and published by BBC Audiobooks America.)

"Too hot, too hot!
To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.
I have tremor cordis on me,--my heart dances;
But not for joy,--not joy.--This entertainment
May a free face put on; derive a liberty
From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
And well become the agent: `t may, I grant:
But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,
As now they are; and making practis'd smiles,
As in a looking glass; and then to sigh, as `twere
The mort o' the deer; O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows."

The above is said as an aside by the King of Sicilia as he observes his Queen with his good friend (who he has known since childhood), the King of Bohemia. This is the occurrence that sparks the King of Sicilia's jealousy and forms the basis of this play (written circa 1611) by William Shakespeare (1564 to 1616).

(Note that this play is traditionally classified as a comedy but is more accurately known as a tragicomedy or romance.)

Having this play recorded on compact disc is a treat. This play (of five acts or fifteen scenes) is presented as uncut, fully dramatized, and accompanied by original music. This recording aids in comprehension by bringing the play to life using the voices of distinguished actors.

Included with the compact disc are liner notes that include among other things a complete cast list and a synopsis of each scene. What I did was before each scene, I paused the recording, read a particular scene's synopsis, and then listened to that scene.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Then read this before you retire from Shakespeare! I read this in AP English after Hamlet, and I have to say that this was a surprise to me. The Winters Tale is refreshing compared to Shakespeare's earlier tragedy works. No one dies in this play except for one person instead of the entire cast.
This is mainly a love story with several different types of love affairs- Leontes and Hermoine, Leontes and Polizenes, Farid and Perdita... There is no single major character as this play is set up in two different time periods and each character mostly acts independently of each other.
As for the characterization in the play, readers can observe the classical Shakespearean characters (similar characteristics to the earlier plays) and newly personality designed characers. This mixed play reveals Shakespeare's transition from his original writings to his attempt to prove his audience that there is good in life.
I recommend this play for readers and interested literature majors because I have found this play to be widely used on college campuses and I can see why. Although we are done and we spent some time but I felt that this play deserves to be discussed in depth since there are many different elements to it. Even short plays can evolve into a course as well as long Russian style novels.
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Format: Paperback
Ask anyone to name a play by Shakespeare and it most likely will be Romeo and Juliet, or Hamlet, or Macbeth or even Othello. Rarely will you ever hear anyone say The Winter's tale, but is its lack of popularity due to it being any lesser than Shakespeare's other works? Unfortunately I would have to say yes.
The play is taken from Greene's Pandosto and follows it quite closely in most parts. The plot is fairly simple, Leontes, the King of Sicilia gets into a jealous rage over his what he believes is his wife's infidelity with his friend. This causes him to break off a close relationship with his childhood friend the King of Bohemia and his servant Camillo. He also banishes his daughter, and kills his wife and son by flouting Apollo's judgement that Hermione, his wife, is innocent.
The second part of the play is concerned with the reunion of his banished daughter and her newly acquired husband with Leontes. There is a surprise at the ending which I will not spoil for those who have not yet had the opportunity to read the play.
If you've read Othello, you will find similarities between Othello and Leontes and also between Desdemona and Hermione. The only major difference is that there is no Iago in this play; Leontes is his own Iago. Shakespeare in Othello develops the reasons for Othello's suspicion of Desdemona, unfortunately this is lacking in The Winter's Tale. There is not much of a motive and the reader (or audience) is asked to believe that Leontes develops his jealous rage over one minor incident and almost immediately.
Another problem I have with this play is with the surprise ending. Here again, there is not much of a clue as to how this happens, it is just assumed that we will accept it unquestioningly as fact.
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