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The Winter's Tale Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Audio Partners, The; Unabridged Edition edition (Dec 10 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932219390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932219395
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.5 x 15.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #705,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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One of Shakespeare's most haunting and enigmatic late plays, The Winter's Tale is a fine example of Shakespeare's fascination with the dramatic genre of "romance": the portrayal of magical lands, familial conflict and exile, and final reunion and reconciliation. Drawing on Robert Green's story Pandosto, Shakespeare play tells the story of the middle-aged Leontes, king of Sicilia, and his childhood friend Polixenes, the king of Bohemia. Leontes mistakenly believes that his friend is having an affair with his wife, Hermione. In his jealousy, and consumed by "tremor cordis", he tries to murder Polixenes, who flees, and accuses his wife of adultery. Hermione gives birth to a baby girl, Perdita, who Leontes denounces as illegitimate, and casts her out into the wilderness. Hermione is ultimately proved innocent, but her son, Mamillius, dies of grief. Hermione collapses, apparently dead, and Leontes is left to pick up the tragic consequences of his actions. Time passes, and the action moves to Bohemia, where the lost child Perdita has grown up a shepherdess in the midst of "great creating nature". The final scenes of the play draw towards resolution and reconciliation between Leontes, Hermione and their lost daughter, culminating in one of Shakespeare's most moving final scenes. One of Shakespeare's most consummate plays, The Winter's Tale is a fascinating study of male insecurity and the relations between art and nature. --Jerry Brotton. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for "William Shakespeare: Complete Works"
"A remarkable edition, one that makes Shakespeare's extraordinary accomplishment more vivid than ever."
-James Shapiro, professor, Columbia University, bestselling author of "A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599"
"Two eminent Shakespeareans . . . have applied modern editing techniques and recent scholarship to correct and update the First Folio. . . . Superb."
"-The New York Times"
"A feast of literary and historical information."
-"The Wall Street Journal"
"I look forward to using it over many years, enjoying Jonathan Bate's perceptive comments, trusting Eric Rasmussen's textual scholarship."
-Peter Holland, president of the Shakespeare Association of America and editor of Shakespeare Survey --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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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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.
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